The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London delivered an oral statement entitled “Discrimination on a Religious Basis” as part of Agenda Item 9 of the UN Human Rights Council’s session ID with SR on racism.
“The religious-based discrimination from Israeli authorities towards Palestinian Muslims and Christians has increasingly heightened in recent weeks. Israeli forces have been limiting Palestinians’ access to Al-Aqsa Mosque through enforcing age bans that do not allow any Palestinian under 50 to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque”, said PRC.
PRC said Israeli forces simultaneously allow Jewish settlers of all ages to invade the Al Aqsa Mosque compound whilst they recite provocative slurs and participate in controversial religious acts.
PRC added that Palestinian Christians have also been discriminated against on the basis of their religion by Israeli forces stopping them from celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem and not allowing them permits to Jerusalem during Easter.
PRC said Israeli forces restricting Palestinian worshippers access to both Muslim and Christian holy sites are flagrant violations of human rights and international law, most notably Article 18, of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, outlining every human being’s innate freedom of religion.
PRC called on the UNHRC to publicly condemn Israel’s deliberate religious-based discrimination and to take the necessary measures in order to protect all places of worship in Jerusalem and to uphold all worshippers’ freedom of religion.