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Written Submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Mr. Fabian Salvioli, on Transitional Justice Measures and the Legacy of Human Rights Violations in Colonial Contexts

Al-Haq responded to Fabian Salvioli’s request for input to his forthcoming report by submitting its own report that documents serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) imposed on the Palestinian people.  The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence will submit his report on transitional justice measures and the legacy of human rights violations in colonial contexts in the forthcoming October.

Al-Haq observes that the transition to justice in Palestine is far from being achieved, and calls on the Special Rapporteur to recognize and address Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime. It also endorses the re-establishment of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid, and maintains they have an essential role to play in ending Israel’s institutionalized impunity and apartheid regime. It also calls on the UN Human Rights Council “to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people, [and] to unpack the historical and ongoing Israeli settler-colonial regime in Palestine”.

Al-Haq focuses on mechanisms that Israel has established to hold human rights violators accountable; serious violations of IHL in colonial contexts; and measures that provide truth, reparations and historical acknowledgement to victims.

It demonstrates that the Israeli justice system facilitates its impunity; for example, its legal policies prevent refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) from returning to their homes and properties, and also does not permit them to commemorate historical acts of violence. The overriding theme, which is reiterated throughout, is that Israel is a settler-colonial regime that deserves to be treated and regarded as such.