The UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held a virtual conversation on “The COVID-19 pandemic under occupation – national resilience and international support”. The event took place on 21 April 2020 and was livestreamed on the Committee Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UN.palestinianrights/. Viewers posed questions via the Committee’s Facebook page and via email.
The event featured a conversation between the Committee Bureau and three Palestinian civil society representatives: Mr. Ali Gheith, a Palestinian journalist and activist in East Jerusalem; Ms. Randa Siniora, Palestinian human rights and women’s rights activist and General Director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling in Ramallah; and Mr. Issam Younis, the Director–General of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza.
The 1.5-hour event addressed how the Palestinian population in the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – and Gaza was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic under the ongoing occupation, political uncertainty in Israel and threats of annexation. The speakers elaborated on their distinct sets of challenges and restrictions in their respective locations, and on whether Israel, the occupying Power, was living up to its responsibilities under international law vis-à-vis the occupied Palestinian population. The event also addressed options and strategies for Member States and global civil society to provide continued political and practical support to the Palestinian people.
All UN Member States and Observers, United Nations organizations, intergovernmental and civil society organizations had been invited to attend.