A briefing note on the economic rights situation in the Palestinian Territories during 2020

Date:   25  Dec 2020

 

A briefing note on the economic rights situation in the Palestinian Territories during 2020

The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) highly appreciates your positive and attested role.
As we are leaving 2020, and in the context of our follow-up of the economic rights conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, we believe it is important to inform you about the status of these rights, which include the right to work, the right to social security, the right to food, the right to housing.
We are looking forward to your role to ensure that the Palestinian citizen enjoys those rights and all rights related.

the International Commission for Supporting Palestinian Rights (ICSPR) sent all the institutions of the international community Among them: Secretary-General of the United Nations , High Commissioner for Human  Rights ,United Nations Peace Process Coordinator, President of the Human Rights Council , UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory , UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development.

We present to you the most important patterns and pictures of violations monitored by ICSPR and other human rights organizations in terms of Israeli and Palestinian violations of these rights as follows:

  1. The Israeli occupation:
  • The Israeli occupation authorities issued orders to displace Jerusalemite families in Jerusalem by forcing them to demolish their homes. The continuation of such measures aims at changing the reality and features of the city in terms of the majority of the population to impose a new Jewish reality aims at reducing the Palestinian presence and emptying it from the population.
  • The Israeli occupation practiced a policy of delaying the arrival of foodstuffs, and it has practiced a policy of blockade on the Gaza Strip and control of the Palestinian crossings for 14 years by controlling the materials that enter the Strip, whether food or health materials, building materials or raw materials, which affected the agricultural products sector through controlling the commercial crossings, which caused severe damage to Palestinian agricultural exports, and controlling the fishing space that affected Marine life. In addition to the decline in the work of industrial establishments operating in the furniture sector as a result of controlling raw materials.
  • The Israeli occupation’s control over trade outlets and procedures related to import and export negatively affected the competitiveness of Palestinian goods, and caused a decline in public consumption by more than 6%.
  • The Israeli occupation’s control over the trade outlets has also caused a trade deficit of more than 36% of the GDP due to the continued weakness in exports compared to an increase in imports by nearly three times exports.
  • It has also affected the economic and nutritional conditions of the Palestinian citizen, where about (70%) of the population of the Gaza Strip is food insecure, (73%) of children under five suffer from anemia, and about (97%) of the water sources do not meet the standards of World Health Organization.

 

  1. The Palestinian authority violations:
  • The application of deduction procedures by the Palestinian National Authority on the salaries of government employees in the Gaza Strip, and referring thousands of them to compulsory retirement, which continued in 2020 and increased the deduction rate to less than 50% of their salaries.
  • The average salaries in the private sector in the Gaza Strip did not exceed 800 shekels ( $230), meaning that it did not reach the minimum, so the worker’s right to end-of-service gratuity and the worker’s right to a wage not less than the minimum wage of 1,450 shekels, which was approved in the Labor Law in 2012, were not met.
  • The right to social security, especially in cases of unemployment, maternity, accidents, sickness, disability, old age and other similar conditions of life are among the basic rights guaranteed by international laws, especially international human rights law. The number of workers targeted to participate in the Social Security Law, according to the statistical survey for 2019, is 497 thousand female and male workers, and Presidential Decree No. 19 of 2016 was issued in this regard, but it has not been amended and has not yet been implemented.

As for the indirect violations of the Palestinian Authority, its disavowal of its obligations towards its citizens through ignoring and not providing plans and solutions contributed to:

  • About 80% of the population of the Gaza Strip receives aid, which threatens a real crisis that may affect all areas of life.
  • The Corona pandemic affected the economic sector due to the declaration of the state of emergency, which directly reflected on economic activity and production, purchasing power declined significantly, and a general state of recession prevailed in various economic sectors. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics expects to achieve a decline in economic growth in Palestine by 14%, due to the decrease in the total private and public consumption by about $ 1.3 billion, as well as a decrease in investment by about $ 2.1 billion, while the Palestinian authority s
  • According to estimates by the Chamber of Commerce, the Gaza Strip incurred direct and indirect losses that exceeded $ 27 million during a month due to the closure. Where it witnessed a 90% decline in the production capacity of the various economic sectors as a result of the weak purchasing power of the citizens and their purchases were focused on the necessary materials.

Therefore, we ask you to make more efforts, by taking specific measures to protect economic rights, by putting pressure on the Israeli military occupation authorities as the occupying power, in terms of its obligation to respect the rules of international law and international conventions towards civilians living in the occupied territory, and to demand the Human Rights Council to work on conducting investigations into cases of serious or systematic Israeli violations of basic human rights guaranteed under international human rights law and international humanitarian law and finally support UNRWA’s treasury to ensure citizens’ economic rights are respected.