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On 9 March, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and partners in Europe and Palestine wrote to key European Union institutions and Member States and the United Kingdom, urging them to uphold international law and human rights for the Palestinian people at the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The letters called on the Member States to reaffirm their longstanding commitment to international law and human rights standards by voting in favour of the three resolutions under agenda items 2 and 7 pertaining to accountability, human rights, illegal Israeli settlements, and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.
On 8 March, Addameer issued a press release to mark International Women’s Day, recalling that Palestinian female prisoners continue to face difficult conditions in Israeli prisons. Addameer claimed that the majority of Palestinian female prisoners are subjected to some form of psychological ill-treatment throughout the process of their arrest and detention, including various forms of sexual violence. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights also issued a statement on that day reiterating support for Palestinian women’s rights.
On 5 March, Adalah informed that the organization stated at the NGO briefing to the UN Human Rights Committee that Israel is failing to abide by its human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Adalah and other human rights organizations also answered questions of Committee members during a further NGO session on 1 March, in advance of the Committee’s review of Israel on 2 and 3 March 2022. In addition, Al-Haq informed it delivered a joint statement with seven regional and international organisations to the United Nations Human Rights Committee highlighting Israel’s smearing campaign, intimidation, harassment, and delegitimization of human rights defenders.
On 3 March, BADIL informed that on 18 February it submitted its report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to inform a thematic report on trends, developments and challenges to the ability of civil society organizations to access resources, including foreign funding, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council. The report provides information regarding the coercive environment context in which Palestinian civil society operates as a result of delegitimization campaigns by Israeli authorities.
On 2 March, Peace Now published an article relating a tour around Hebron organized by Breaking the Silence, together with 200 participants. Peace Now’s article presented how Hebron drastically changed 28 years after the Goldstein Massacre in which 29 Palestinians were killed while they were praying in the Ibrahimi Mosque, and more than 100 people were wounded. The article highlights how from a city full of colour and life, Hebron became a ghost town, where Palestinian stores and markets have not opened their doors for years. Peace Now further described Hebron as a microcosm of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
On 2 March, Al-Haq published a Field Report on Human Rights Violations in 2021. According to this report, 2021 marked a setback in human rights both at the internal level as well as in relation to Israeli practices and international community’s responsibilities towards the occupying Power. Al-Haq highlighted that violations escalated on all levels, including on Palestinian injuries, fatalities and home demolitions.
On 27 February, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights announced it has concluded a training course on “Women’s Rights; Intervention and Protection Mechanisms to Combat Violence against Women,” with the participation of 20 students from the Faculty of Medicine at al-Azhar University and in coordination with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations in Palestine. The 20-hour training course was held over the course of 4 days from 23 to 27 February 2022 in Gaza City.
On 9 March, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) held a webinar entitled “Israeli Apartheid, the Supreme Court, and Land Confiscation: The Case of Masafer Yatta” with Ali Awad, a writer and activist from Tuba; Maya Rosen, a Jerusalem-based Palestine solidarity activist; and FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin. Participants discussed how Palestinians in Masafer Yatta continue to build their lives despite the constant existential threat they are under, what they expect from the Israeli Supreme Court, and the international campaign they have launched to save their villages, as well as Israel’s use of the “firing zone” designation as a means of confiscating Palestinian land.
On 8 March, the Foundation for Middle East Peace organized a webinar entitled “Israeli Apartheid & the Climate Crisis”. Participants discussed dynamics of climate change for Palestinians, their access to clean water, sustainable land, consistent electricity, and food security with three activists and advocates: Jessica Anderson (Visualizing Palestine); Khalil Abu Yahia (Gaza-based scholar); and Manal Shqair (Stop the Wall Campaign), with Sarah Anne Minkin (FMEP).
On 3 March, Americans for Peace Now (APN) published an article entitled “Good News from Sheikh Jarrah”. In this article, APN welcomes the Israel’s Supreme Court decision of 1 March 2022 allowing four Palestinian families who were slated for eviction to remain in their homes, and that the rent they pay will be held in escrow until the ownership of the assets is settled. APN further stated that this decision will likely also prevent the eviction of approximately 20 additional families in Sheikh Jarrah.
On 3 March, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) hosted a webinar discussion on the recent publication: Is Peace Possible: Christian Palestinians Speak, with representatives from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and CMEP, and moderated by Julie Schumacher Cohen, Assistant Vice President in Community Engagement & Government Affairs at The University of Scranton.
On 3 March, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, in partnership with Churches for Middle East Peace and the American Friends of Combatants for Peace, organised the fourth and last part of its a virtual four-part educational series, Gaza 101. In this session moderated by Jim Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute, FMEP discussed the Economics of Gaza with Asmaa Abu Messed (Economic Development Specialist with Oxfam International) and Omar Shaban (Founder/Director of Pal Think).
On 23 March, the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the virtual event “Impact of forced displacement on Palestinian women” on the margins of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Panelists and participants will discuss the impact of displacement through evictions and demolitions on Palestinian families as a whole and on women in particular. The event will be held in virtual format, from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm (NY time); it will be livestreamed on UNTV.
On 9 March, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini addressed the 157th Session of the League of Arab States Council. Mr. Lazzarini emphasized the challenges faced by UNRWA in its fields of operations and recalled that the agency is still facing a financial crisis due to a lack of sufficient and predictable funding, adding that fundings from countries from the Arab region has been low in 2021.
On 8 March, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, issued a statement expressing concerns over the deteriorating security situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem after daily violence this past week has claimed the lives of six Palestinians, including one child, and 26 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been injured. Tor Wennesland called on political, religious and community leaders to reject violence and speak up against those who try to inflame the situation, adding that all concerned must refrain from actions and provocations that fuel tensions and exercise maximum restraint.
On 8 March, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East published a statement by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on the occasion of the International Women Day. Recalling the central role that thousands of women, primarily Palestine refugees, play in UNRWA operations, the Commissioner-General announced the official launch of the Women Advisory Forum as a safe space for female staff to engage amongst themselves and with the Agency’s senior management and to ensure the full and effective participation and leadership of women.
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.