GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A panel of five independent UN rights experts reporting to the Human Rights Council unanimously rejected the conclusion of the Palmer Report that says Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal.
On a statement produced by the UN in Geneva on 13 September, the panel says it rejected the Palmer Report findings because the blockade had subjected Gazans to collective punishment in “flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.”
“The Palmer report was aimed at political reconciliation between Israel and Turkey. It is unfortunate that in the report politics should trump the law,” said Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on human rights, on the statement.
According to the panel, the blockade should immediately cease as “the people of Gaza must be afforded protection in line with international law.”
For the United Nations experts, “decisive steps must be taken to defend the dignity and basic welfare of the civilian population of Gaza, more than half of whom are children.”
Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food said at least two-thirds of Gazan households are food insecure, and “evidence has shown that the so-called ‘easing’ of the blockade has not led this to improve.”