Varying degrees of imprisonment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Report by Francesca Albanese

Sir Vincent Fean, Balfour Project trustee, writes:

Francesca Albanese is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). She studies developments and reports regularly to the UN Human Rights Council, of which the UK is a member.

To see her latest report (21 pages) please click here.

The Government of Israel prevents her from visiting Israel or the OPT, in the same way that it prevented her predecessor, Prof. Michael Lynk, from having access to the territory being monitored. Israel does not like the mandate which Ms Albanese has been given, does not like Ms Albanese, and has called – unsuccessfully – for her to be sacked.

Ms Albanese was the keynote speaker at the 17 May, 2023, Balfour Project conference: Human Rights in Palestine: Responsibility and Accountability.

In her report, she analyses the different ways in which Palestinians in the OPT are prevented from leading a normal life. I had to look up one word in the report: carceral. It is the adjective to describe incarceration. She reports that one way or another, Palestinians in the OPT are detained – actually imprisoned in the case of Gaza, the open prison, and confined in the West Bank through the permit regime of the occupying power.

The report concludes with a series of recommendations addressed variously to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and UN member states. One of the many recommendations is the same as in the Save the Children report: Injustice: Palestinian children’s experience of the Israeli military detention system (our email of 31 July).  Save the Children, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights and Ms Albanese all call for Israel to declare a moratorium on the detention of Palestinian minors.

The Balfour Project echoes that call.

The UK and the rest of the international community may be judged by their response.

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