Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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10 June 2020

Middle East

  • On 10 June, B’Tselem published the update “Occupation Routine: Military Repeatedly Commandeers Teachers’ Housing Complex Near Nablus for Training”, denouncing the Israeli military’s training exercises held at the complex in September 2019 and April 2020.
  • On 10 June, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC) issued a response to the Israeli Supreme Court after it struck down the Settlements Regulation Law, which had allow Israel to expropriate private Palestinian land in the West Bank and to legalize the Israeli settlements built on it under Israeli domestic law. Adalah said that it was a significant achievement against Israel’s impending annexation of parts of the West Bank as the Supreme Court’s decision stressed that the Israeli parliament cannot legislate laws violating international humanitarian law.
  • On 9 June, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a press release to denying a news report in the Israeli media suggesting that Israel had reached agreement on an alternative coordination mechanism for the travel of Gaza patients through the NGO, following the Palestinian Government’s decision to end security coordination with Israel.
  • On 9 June, Peace Now, Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) issued a joint statement following the repeal of the Settlements Regulation Law by Israel’s Hight Court of Justice, saying “The Regulation Law was a black mark on the Israeli Knesset and on Israeli democracy, and the High Court of Justice has ruled the obvious: thou shalt not steal.” The NGOs spoke of their duty to prevent the harm the law threatened to Palestinians living under occupation, as well as to the prospects of peace, and of their efforts to curb “this unsuccessful attempt to expropriate private land of a people, living under occupation by a government they did not choose, for the benefit of new settlements aimed at fragmenting the West Bank.”
  • On 6 June, Al-Haq announced it had sent letters to members of the Irish political parties Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, and the leaders of the Green Party, urging their support for the Control of Economic Activities in the Occupied Territories Bill as part of the forthcoming programme for the next Irish Government. Al-Haq explained that the bill would prohibit the import or sale of goods originating from illegal settlements, in line with the “Draft Articles of State Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts” and UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) and stressed that there was no legal barrier under both Irish constitutional law and European Union law to the enactment of the bill, which gives effect to Ireland’s pre-existing obligations under international law.
  • On 4 June, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights and other Palestinian NGOs submitted a joint written statement to the UN Human Rights Council, calling for effective measures at the Council to ensure the immediate lifting of Israel’s illegal closure of Gaza and to address the root causes of  “Israeli apartheid over the Palestinian people.” The organizations called on the Council and all UN Member States to implement Human Rights Council resolution 40/13  on Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the OPT, including East Jerusalem within a clear and specified time, welcomed the forthcoming June 2020 report on collective punishment by UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk, and called on the UN to reconstitute the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid and the UN Centre Against Apartheid.

Europe

  • On 4 June, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued a joint statement on the release of a Birzeit University Palestinian female student, from Israeli military administrative detention, following a joint complaint from LPHR and Addameer to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Both NGOs criticized in their submission Israel’s violations of basic norms of human rights law in the case of this arrest and in the wider context of systemic targeting of Palestinian university students by Israeli military authorities, in addition to the inadmissibility of using military courts for detained civilians as a violation of due process. They called on the UN Working Group to work for the ending of the use of administrative detention without charge or trial against Palestinians by Israeli authorities and for the ending of the Israeli courts’ jurisdiction over Palestinian civilians.

North America

  • On 9 June, Americans for Peace Now and its Israeli sister organization Peace Now launched a campaign to call for Israeli and American citizens to raise their voices against annexation and to urge the government of Israel to abandon its unilateral plan and to instead pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership to reach a conflict-ending peace accord.

United Nations

  • On 4 June, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held the UN Forum on “The Question of Palestine: Threats of Annexation and the Prospects for Peace”. Three prominent speakers – Ms. Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the PLO Executive Committee; Mr. Yossi Beilin, Former Israeli Cabinet Minister; Mr. James Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute – intervened on the prevailing challenges and the current political impasse

 

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.