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Israeli occupation main cause of suffering of all sectors of Palestinian society: Palestine’s UN envoy

A Palestinian runs amid clashes with Israeli troops during an Israeli raid in the city of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on June 13, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour has censured the Israeli occupation as the main cause of the suffering of all sectors of Palestinian society, including people with disabilities.

Speaking at the 16th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP16) in New York, Mansour stated that while Palestine should not spare any effort to fulfill its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), it is a must to reiterate the call for international protection for the Palestinian people as well as for ending the Israeli military occupation.

He said the Israeli occupation remains the main cause of the suffering of the entire Palestinian nation, including persons with disabilities (PWD).

The Palestinian Authority’s efforts to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities in occupied territories, particularly with regard to providing assistance to them amid ongoing Israeli assaults, he added.

Mansour then elaborated on Palestine’s strategy to fulfill its commitment to amplifying the voices of PWD, saying Palestinian officials have enacted a number of legislations and put in place strategies to combat discrimination and marginalization of disabled civilians in public and private sectors, including in education, health and labor fields.

The senior Palestinian diplomat stressed that the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority has employed measures to facilitate the integration of PWD into public education, higher education and vocational training.

Palestine offers support to PWD, especially women and children and their families, to empower them economically, shield them from potential harm, and help them achieve economic independence, he added.

Mansour further explained that Palestinian authorities have also implemented several projects to raise community awareness of the CRPD clauses and ensure that the rights of PWD as an integral part of human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected.

The Palestinian envoy noted that Palestinians continue to endure Israeli military occupation while their ability to realize their plans are limited, stressing that many Palestinian youths and children have become disabled as a result of attacks by Israeli forces and armed settlers in addition to the Tel Aviv regime’s widespread and systematic application of excessive force as part of a shoot-to-kill policy.

International law prohibits the use of live ammunition on civilians, except as a last resort during an imminent threat of life. However, Israeli soldiers freely fire live bullets at Palestinians during confrontations or military raids.

Rights groups maintain that the regime’s excessive use of force on Palestinians has caused scores of permanent and temporary disabilities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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