UN Human Rights Committee Releases List of Issues for Israel, Asks Key Questions about Palestinian Citizens of Israel

UN Human Rights Committee releases List of Issues, (LOIPR), questions for Israel's review. Adalah's report and the UNHRC's focus include questions on equality and discrimination in Israel's Basic Laws, equality between men and women, home demolitions and rights of the Bedouin, use of Arabic in Israel, equal representation, attacks on political leaders by members of knesset, religious minority rights, the anti-boycott law and foreign funding law, and the citizenship and entry into Israel law.

(Haifa)  On 31 August 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC )  posed 26 questions to Israel regarding its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  The questions comprise the “List of Issues” to which Israel must respond in its report to the HRC due in 2013.  Israel ratified the ICCPR in 1991.

Adalah submitted a report to HRC on Israel’s non-compliance with its human rights obligations under the convention.

Adalah also presented a second report with a coalition of NGOs - the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, and Al-Mezan -  on Israel's practices of torture and ill-treatment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Read the press release  on this report.

Adalah sought to call the attention of the expert members of the Committee to Israel's continued and systemic discrimination against Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel.  Adalah’s report provides information on ten urgent issues of discrimination in order to assist the Committee in adopting its “List of Issues.”  The HRC adopted 8 of the 10 urgent issues listed in Adalah's report on discrimination, and called on Israel inter alia to:

  • Indicate any step taken to include the principle of equality and nondiscrimination in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and to repeal any discriminatory laws (para. 5);

  • Indicate how the State party ensures the full application of the principle of equality between women and men, in particular with respect to Israeli Arab women and women belonging to minorities. (para. 11);

  • Provide updated information on measures taken to recognize and promote the Bedouin population’s right to ancestral land and traditional livelihood. Please indicate measures that have been taken to stop the demolition of houses and indicate whether the State party envisages withdrawing the 2012 proposed Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev (para. 6);

  • Indicate what measures have been taken to ensure linguistic rights of Arab citizens of Israel (para. 7);

  • Provide information on steps taken by the State party to ensure equal representation of Jewish and Arab citizens in the civil service, in particular in decision-making positions; and equality in access to education, in particular in higher education (para. 8)

  • Comment on cases where the political leadership of the Arab minority faces continued and severe attacks and harassment, including Members of Knesset  (cases of Members of Knesset Sa’id Naffaa, Mohammed Barakeh, Haneen Zoabi and Ahmad Tibi) (para. 8);

  • Indicate any steps taken by the State party to protect the rights of religious minorities… provide information on measures taken to preserve and protect Muslim and Christian religious sites (para. 22);

  • Provide detailed information on the new Israeli anti-boycott law and its compliance with the right to freedom of conscience, expression and opinion; and on the “Foreign Funding Law” to NGOs, adopted on 2 March 2011 and specify what measures have been taken or are envisaged to revise these laws in accordance with the Covenant, in particular articles 18, 19 and 21. (para. 24);

  • Provide information on measures taken to revoke the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary provision) and to review the State party’s policy with a view to facilitating family reunification for all citizens and permanent residents without discrimination. (para. 25)

Adalah calls on the State of Israel to provide a detailed written response to the questions posed by HRC and to fully comply with its international human rights legal obligations.