Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Baskut Tuncak, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Hazardous Substances and Wastes
31st October 2016
The following submission is written jointly by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights and Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al Haq), both of which are Palestinian human rights organizations with consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. This brief is intended to provide input into the upcoming joint report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Hazardous Substances and Wastes to the Human Rights Council in March 2017.
In accordance with the theme of the Special Rapporteurs’ upcoming report on the human rights implications of pesticides, this submission highlights an ongoing case brought forward by Palestinian farmers living in the Gaza Strip whose farm land, food and livelihoods have been affected by aerial spraying of undisclosed chemicals by Israeli aircraft. Recognizing that the rights violations related to this incident cannot be viewed in isolation, but rather as among many systematically imposed forms of collective punishment on the Palestinian people living under the closure and blockade in Gaza, this submission briefly outlines the applicable legal framework as well as relevant details about the situation of communities in Gaza who are reliant on the land and sea for their livelihoods. It concludes with a set of recommendations from Al Mezan and Al-Haq for the Special Rapporteurs to take into consideration.
 As recognized by official UN statements, including for example by the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl in an online press release dated April 2014 <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47604#.WBNlPCTbnuo>.