PCHR submits an Individual Complaint to the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food


On Monday, 15 September, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has made a written submission, in the form of an Individual Complaint, to Mr. De Schutter the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, which draws attention to the case of Abu Mghasib (38) from Wadi el Salqa, in Deir el Balah, Gaza Strip (Palestine).

On 12 June 2012, Israeli army bulldozers conducted an incursion into the central Gaza Strip, on the eastern side of Deir el Balah.  They razed 43 dunums of farming land belonging to Palestinian farmers.  On 17 June, the bulldozers and tanks returned to level what was left of the farming lands.  One of the plots of land belongs to Youssef Abu Mghasib (38) from Wadi el Salqa.  On his land, he grew olives and an assortment of fruits and vegetables to support his family.  Abu Mghasib lives with and is the sole breadwinner for his wife, 9 children, mother and sister.  Their home is located approximately 500 meters north-east of their farm.  As a result of the land razing, the family lost its access to food and its source of income, violating their right to attain an adequate standard of living.

The razing of Abu Mghasib’s land is part of a larger pattern of attacks carried out by the Israeli forces positioned on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  Israeli authorities have unilaterally and illegally established a so-called ‘buffer zone’ along the border, which officially extends 300 meters into the Gaza Strip.  However, in reality, the ‘buffer zone’ can extend up to 1,500 meters from the fence, and is enforced with the use of lethal force. From October 2000, at the beginning Second Intifada, until November 2010 PCHR has documented the bulldozing of 55,833 dunums of land in the Gaza Strip, of which 50,193 was agricultural land and 2,646 was forest land.

By denying Youssef Abu Mghasib access to his farming lands, which are his and his family’s primary source of food and livelihood, the Israeli authorities have taken away the family’s ability to feed and sustain themselves.  This is a violation of their right to an adequate standard of living, as codified under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and Article 24 (2) (c) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Furthermore, the denial of farmers’ and fishermen’s right to freedom of movement, which results in the lack of access to their livelihoods, violates these workers’ right to food, as well as various employment rights, which are guaranteed under the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular Article 6 and 7.

PCHR will be submitting either Memorandums or Individual Complaints on a bi-weekly basis to UN Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs, to draw attention to issues facing the Palestinian people.

Supplementary documents:

Individual Complaint: Individual complaint related to the right to food in the Gaza Strip (pdf)


Briefing Note: The Right to Food in the Gaza Strip (pdf)


Factsheet: Gaza Strip: Destruction of sources of food and livelihood in the Gaza (pdf)


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