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52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

National Statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on his report on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 3 March 2023

We thank the High Commissioner for his report.

Australia remains deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, human rights violations and abuses, the escalating violence and the lack of progress towards a just and enduring two-state solution.

We strongly oppose unilateral actions which undermine prospects for peace, inflame tensions and prevent Israelis and Palestinians from the full enjoyment of their fundamental human rights.

Acts of terrorism can never be justified. We are deeply troubled at recent attacks, including that which took the lives of seven worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem on 28 January. We condemn all incitement to violence.

Also troubling are the deaths of civilians during recent security operations in the Palestinian Territories, including in Nablus and Jenin. It is critical that civilians are protected during the conduct of security operations.

We are concerned at ongoing settlement activity in the Palestinian Territories, including the advancement of housing units, demolition of Palestinian homes, retroactive legalisation of illegal outposts, and incidents of settler violence such as those witnessed in Huwara. Settlements are an obstacle to peace and

make progress towards a two-state solution more difficult to achieve. We call on Israel to cease all settlement activity.

Australia reiterates its longstanding view that the Human Rights Council brings disproportionate scrutiny to Israel. We do not support the proposition that Israel is the only country with a dedicated item on the HRC agenda, which is why Australia does not and will not engage in Item 7 of the Council’s debate.

Recent events are urgent reminders of the need for leaders to work together to foster the conditions for tolerance and peace.

We ask the High Commissioner what more the international community can do to bring parties to the conflict together for negotiations.

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