GENEVA (13 September 2011) – Commenting on the report of the Panel of Inquiry on the flotilla incident of 31 May (Palmer Report), released this month, a group of United Nations independent experts* criticized its conclusion that Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal.
“In pronouncing itself on the legality of the naval blockade, the Palmer Report does not recognize the naval blockade as an integral part of Israel’s closure policy towards Gaza which has a disproportionate impact on the human rights of civilians”, stressed the experts.
“As a result of more than four years of Israeli blockade, 1.
6 million Palestinian women, men and children are deprived of their fundamental human rights and subjected to collective punishment, in flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law,” they said.
“Israel’s siege of Gaza is extracting a human price that disproportionately harms Palestinian civilians.