Geneva [Switzerland], December 8 (ANI): The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said on Tuesday that the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has become "disastrous", with severe infringements affecting some four million people.
"This clearly also has damaging impact on prospects for peace and sustainable development for Israel, as well as the surrounding region", she argued.
Bachelet was briefing the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in Geneva.
She argued: "no matter how long the road has been, 'never-ending' cannot be an acceptable description for any situation in which human rights are violated and abused."
"Only an end to the occupation can bring about lasting peace and establish the conditions in which the human rights of all can be fully respected", she added.
In May of this year, there was the most significant escalation in hostilities since 2014, resulting in the killing of 261 Palestinians including 67 children. The High Commissioner Office (OHCHR) determined that 130 of those killed were civilians.
At the time, the UN Human Rights Council decided to establish an independent, international commission of inquiry. Its first report should be presented in June of next year.
For Ms. Bachelet, the people of Gaza also continue to suffer from a 15-year land, sea and air blockade implemented by Israel, with vital infrastructure crumbling and a decaying sewer system.
"Severe movement restrictions and obstructions to people's access to essential goods and services, including specialised healthcare, generate immense suffering", she said.
She also noted that reconstruction and recovery efforts are ongoing, the fragile cessation of hostilities continues to hold, and some goods have been gradually allowed to enter Gaza.
Humanitarian conditions, however, "remain deeply concerning." (ANI)