Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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12 March 2020

Middle East

  • On 12 March, B’Tselem published a position paper refuting the conclusion of Israeli Attorney General Mandelblit, the highest legal authority in Israel’s executive branch, that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate suspected war crimes by Israel. B’Tselem’s analysis found the Attorney General’s main arguments and sources had relied on “partial quotes taken out of context, flouted” and “overlooked the international community’s positions on Israel’s policy” in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). B’Tselem argued that since Palestine joined the Rome Statute, it has the right to demand an investigation into the situation there.
  • On 11 March, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued its monthly newsletter highlighting Israeli violations for the month of February including the political detention of Palestinian students and cases of torture, as well as Palestinian human rights organizations’ contributions in the 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council.
  • On 10 March, Al-Haq issued a press release on the health conditions in the oPt and the declaration of the state of emergency by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Al-Haq called for all official and unofficial national efforts to be coordinated to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and for the establishment of a medical team, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), across Palestinian governorates to ensure adherence to internationally recognized quality standards in dealing with infected persons and suspected cases.
  • On 10 March, B’Tselem launched a new blog “State-Backed Settler Violence” to convey the frequency and severity of settler violence against Palestinians. The blog provides monthly updates giving voice to people exposed to acts of violence.
  • On 10 March, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel issued a press release denouncing Israel’s failure to “provide real-time coronavirus updates in Arabic for Palestinian citizens.” Adalah sent an urgent letter to Israeli Health Minister demanding that the ministry provide all real-time coronavirus-related updates and information also to the Arabic-speaking public on all its communication platforms, social media and smartphone apps, considering that the Palestinian citizens of Israel constitute approximately 20 percent of the country’s total population.
  • On 9 March, Hamoked – Centre for the Defense of the Individual issued a report on the status of Palestinians in administrative detention, stating that 437 Palestinians are in administrative detention in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including 2 minors, with 103 of them having been detained without charge or trial for over a year. Hamoked stated that administrative detention constituted “a draconian violation of a person’s rights to liberty and due process.” The NGO also criticized the fact that administrative detention orders for Palestinians by Israel are based on “classified material”, which the detainee has no way to refute.
  • On 5 March, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued a report on the occasion of International Women’s Day on the detention of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Addameer gave an overview of the detention of key female human rights defenders and touched on the targeting of female university students, torture and ill-treatment against female prisoners, the situation of women under administrative detention and the issue of medical negligence against female prisoners and the applicability of the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.


  • On 11 March, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) issued the “2019 Year in Review Child Rights Bulletin”. The report incorporates key incidents involving Palestinian children killed and injured by Israeli forces in the OPT from 1 October to 31 December. The report also explores cases of child victims of settler violence, detention, demolitions and displacement, and interference against education.

North America

United Nations

  • On 8 March, UN Resident Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Jamie McGoldrick issued a statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020. He states that the United Nations stands ready to assist the Palestinian people in the implementation and monitoring of its State obligations and to continue to support and assist Palestinian women and girls across a broad range of areas in line with the SDGs, in particular as they relate to gender equality. He added that the year 2020 is a pivotal year for joint accelerated efforts for the promotion, protection and full realization of women and girls’ rights, as it marks 25 years since the adoption of Beijing declaration and Platform for Action and 10 years since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).


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.