Israel is denying Palestine’s right to development, says UN human rights expert

28 October 2016 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, has declared that Israel is denying Palestine’s right to development by creating rampant poverty, “epic” unemployment, and economic stagnation.

The expert is calling on Israel to end the nearly 50 years of occupation, referring to the Palestinian situation as an atmosphere of “despair and hopelessness.”

In his first report to the UN General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues (Third Committee), he said: “The Palestinian economy is without parallel in the modern world. Israel’s occupation is denying Palestine’s right to development and severely hampering its ability to attain even the minimum targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The UN Declaration on the Right to Development that was adopted by the General Assembly that was adopted 30 years ago provides that every human being and all peoples have an inalienable right to equitable and just economic and social development that is fully observant of all human rights. This right applies with full force to a territory under occupation.

“Poverty is rising. Unemployment is rising to epic levels. Food insecurity is becoming more acute. The Palestinian economy is becoming more stifled and less viable under the occupation,” the expert continued. “Israel’s deliberate fragmentation of the [Occupied Palestinian Territory] and lack of development has negatively impacted human rights.”