Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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1 February 2019

Middle East

  • On 30 January, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel reported that Israeli authorities have announced a plan to forcibly transfer 36,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel living in unrecognized villages in the country’s southern Naqab (Negev) region in order to expand military training areas and implement economic development projects. The implementation of the plan is slated to commence next year and will be carried out over the course of several years. Adalah condemned the action, noting that forced transfer plan violates Bedouin citizens’ rights under both Israeli law and international law, including the right to property, dignity, equality, adequate housing, and freedom to choose one’s residence.
  • On 24 January, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association informed that lawyers working on cases of Palestinian prisoners started boycotting military courts to protest interference in the due process by the Israeli prison administration. The head of Ofer Prison had banned several lawyers from accessing Ofer Military court in what Addameer described as part of the Israeli occupation forces attempts to prevent Palestinian lawyers from collecting evidence and testimonies from the prisoners who witnessed or were injured in the recent raids.
  • On 22 January, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the Israeli forces’ raid of Ofer Prison, west of Ramallah, which resulted in the injury of about 100 Palestinian detainees. The PCHR reported that all ten sections of the prison, hosting 1,200 detainees, were all raided and the detainees were beaten and shot at with rubber bullets. The PCHR called upon the international community to put pressure to compel Israel and to abide by the international principles and rules that protect detainees and preserve their rights and dignity.
  • On 21 January, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a workshop on “Economic Reality in the Gaza Strip: Between Sanctions and Taxation” to discuss the financial policies in the Gaza Strip and their impact on the economic and social rights. The workshop concluded with recommendations urging the Palestinian Government to adopt policies that would ease the burden on the population of the Gaza Strip; end all sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2017, including cuts in civil servants’ salaries; and allow access to information on statistics in the economic and financial fields.


  • On 26 January, Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law welcomed the adoption of the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 in the second stage vote in the lower house of the Irish parliament. The Bill prescribes a criminal penalty for import or sale of goods or services into Ireland produced in illegal settlements, in violation of international law.

North America

  • On 30 January, Amnesty International published a report “Destination: Occupation” detailing how four leading online tourism companies and global brands – TripAdvisor,, Expedia and Airbnb – are profiting from listings in Israeli’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. Amnesty International called on the companies to ban all listings, and on governments around the world to take regulatory action to prevent companies from doing business in or with Israel’s illegal settlements.

United Nations

  • On 29 January, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), appealed for US$ 1.2 billion to fund the Agency’s operations at the same level as 2018. About US$ 277 million is required to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees affected by the Syria crisis, while a total of US$ 138 million is for its humanitarian response to the occupied Palestinian territory.


This newsletter informs about recent and upcoming activities of Civil Society Organizations affiliated with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat provide the information “as is” without warranty of any kind, and do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, or reliability of the information contained in the websites linked in the newsletter.