A session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva underway.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the first time, Justice Ministry director-general Amy Palmor will this week lead an Israeli delegation appearing before UNHRC, the UN Human Rights Committee, to present in Geneva on the state of the country’s human-rights efforts.
The delegation will include more senior officials than have been part of previous contingents, such as Deputy Attorney-General for International Affairs Roy Schondorf and Col. Noam Neuman, head of the IDF’s international law division – two of the key government officials directing the state’s legal policy The officials are likely to respond to questions on the conduct of the fighting.
The higher-level ranks are expected to signal the state’s commitment to human rights to the UN body in the face of the separate but parallel UN Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza war led by William Schabas.
“We are going to Geneva with a very broad and senior delegation. This is the first time that the director-general of the Justice Ministry is personally heading the delegation,” Palmor said.
“The senior level of the delegation is designed to clearly show [Israel’s] continued commitment to human rights at all levels” to the UN body, she added.
More than 25 NGOs have submitted reports to the UN committee, which supervises and grades countries’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among a range of UN human rights conventions.
Ayman Saif, head of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druse and Circassian Sectors at the Prime Minister’s Office, is expected to address concerns regarding Israeli-Arab citizens’ human rights.
The delegation is set to also address the state’s arguments regarding its advancement of human rights involving women and the disabled, as well as legislation that has been passed to anchor respect for human rights in Israel.
While many international critics have looked down upon the state’s illegal migrant policies as violating human rights and international law, the state plans to present the High Court of Justice’s striking down of the migrant’s policy as a show of the healthy and robust defense of human rights in the country.
The state plans to note its establishment of a more independent apparatus for investigating complaints against the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for human rights abuses, run by Jana Modgavrishvili.
Over the predicted three-hour meeting, the delegation expects to discuss the state’s human rights record in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, including administrative detention and its confrontation of hunger strikes.