On the occasion of 5th anniversary of the ICJ decision, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign issued a joint report entitled Rights without Remedy. The report examines the impact the Wall has had on the rights of the Palestinian population and the inadequacy of measures taken by Israel and the international community to ensure that the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion is implemented or redress provided to victims of damages or human rights violations caused by the Wall.
The report finds that the Wall continues to negatively impact on the human rights of the Palestinian population affected by the Wall including their rights to livelihood, an adequate standard of living, education and health care. Thousands of Palestinians have been cut off from the land and means of subsistence, had their homes and olive trees demolished or been displaced as a result of the Wall’s construction. Accessing education, health care, religious sites and even visiting family members has become increasingly difficult. The Wall has further expropriated prime agricultural land and water resources, de facto annexing over 10% of the West Bank.
The report further raises concerns over the disproportionate use of force employed by the Israeli military against Palestinian’s (as well as Israeli and international solidarity activists) that have protested against the Wall in daily or weekly demonstrations.
The establishment of the UN Register of Damages (UNRoD), which has received little financial resources or political support, has so far been the only measure enacted by the United Nations towards the implementation of the ICJ decision. UNRoD has the mandate to collect and document damage or loss suffered as a result of the Wall. However, UNRoD does not have a mandate to evaluate or assess the loss or damage claimed, and therefore falls short of the ICJ’s recommendation that reparation be made to victims of damages caused by the Wall. Currently UNRoD is conducting a pilot project in Jenin Governorate and over 1000 claims forms have been collected. However, the report raises serious concerns regarding the implementation of UNRoD. In particular, the lack of transparency regarding UNRoD’s appointment of board and staff; lack of access to information regarding its field presence; criteria and methodology for claims collection; and lack of participation of both Palestinian and international organisations in the process.
The report recommends that UNRoD carries out its work on the basis of a participatory and transparent process and works in consultation with relevant civil society organisations to develop a methodology and framework for the quantification of losses and to ensure that full restitution for the victims of damages caused by the Wall can be achieved, based on international legal principles.
Read the report here.