Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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12 April 2019

Middle East

  • On 12 April, Al-Haq reported on its participation in the United Nations Forum on the Question of Palestine on the theme of “The threat of de facto annexation – What next for Palestine? Al-Haq said that the Forum came shortly after the United States unlawfully recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Occupied Syrian Golan and over a year after the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israeli PM Netanyahu also announced, on 6 April, that he would extend Israeli sovereignty on Israeli settlements in the West Bank should he be re-elected. Experts at the UN Forum highlighted the importance for third states to uphold their obligations under international law and UN resolutions, including an immediate ban on settlement products.
  • On 9 April, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued a press release to inform that Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons started a hunger strike to demand – among others – the removal of cell jammers, the return of prisoners who were recently and punitively transferred from their cells, access to a public telephone as well as proper medical care and family visits – including by families from the Gaza Strip – banned for alleged security reasons.
  • On 10 April, Mossawa Centre: The Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel issued an analytical paper on the results of the 2019 Israeli elections, emphasizing the Palestinian Arab community’s participation and its impact on the election results. Mossawa explained that the Arab members of Knesset were a key political group and an “extension of the political power that the entire Palestinian community could yield in Israel.” The NGO also denounced that the Israeli government maintains power through an “us vs. them” mentality, by directly targeting minority citizens of Israel and threatening the lives of Arab politicians. The NGO called on the Israeli political community to “stop fearing the political power of Arabs in Israel” and to “work to involve them in the decision-making process.”
  • On 8 April, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said it continued its fight against restrictions on Palestinians’ political rights. Adalah denounced that the Israeli national elections were taking place “in the shadow of the Jewish Nation-State Law”, and were characterized by “a severe escalation of political exclusion and a violation of the freedom of political representation of Arab citizens of Israel and of the Palestinian people as a whole.”
  • On 7 April, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights issued a press release, on the occasion of the World Health Day, to call for an enhanced collaboration to ensure access to healthcare for Gaza’s cancer patients. Al Mezan has been working to facilitate access to healthcare with support from the European Union through legal and technical advice for patients whose exit permits were rejected or delayed by the Israeli authorities. Al Mezan underlined that the continued blockade of Gaza resulted in severe movement restrictions for people and goods that effectively prevent patients, particularly cancer ones, from having access to adequate healthcare.
  • On 4 April, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a press release on the participation of its director, Mr. Raji Sourani, to the UN Forum on the Question of Palestine organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP). In his intervention, Mr. Sourani explained the consequences of the “inhumane and illegal closure on the Gaza Strip” as well as the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel during the Great March of Return. Mr. Sourani said that, 25 years after the Oslo Accords, Israel is trying to “ethnically cleanse” the occupied Palestinian territory by creating a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and expanding its settlements in the West Bank.

Europe

  • On 10 April, Amnesty International responded to Airbnb’s announcement that it will no longer remove listings in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank following a class action lawsuit by Israeli lawyers on behalf of owners of settler homes in occupied Palestinian territory. Amnesty International stated that Airbnb’s decision to continue to allow accommodation listings in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is a “reprehensible and cowardly move that will be another devasting blow for the human rights of Palestinians.”

North America

  • On 10 April, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) issued a statement on Airbnb’s reversal of commitment to remove listings in illegal Israeli settlements. USCPR is part of the StolenHomes Coalition along with the US Palestinian Community Network, Friends of Sabeel North America, Up Lift, CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace. USCPR said that “until freedom, historical justice, and equality are achieved, people of conscience worldwide will continue to pursue boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns that hold Israel and all institutions profiting from its oppression of the Palestinian people accountable.”

United Nations

 

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.