NGO Action News – 16 December 2021

Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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Middle East

  • On 14 December, Addameer informed that the six Palestinian civil society organizations designated by the Israeli government as “terrorist organizations” have launched a new website as part of their #StandWithThe6 campaign. The website consolidates the efforts of the six Palestinian CSOs and partners and provides resources for supporters outlining the full context of Israel’s ongoing campaigns to silence and diminish Palestinian civil society overall.
  • On 13 December, Gisha published an article informing that Gaza’s unemployment rate stood at 50.2% in the third quarter of 2021 according to the quarterly unemployment report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). This figure represents a dramatic 5.5% increase compared to the previous quarter and the gap in unemployment rates between Gaza and the West Bank remains significant. Gisha argues that, in practice, the actual unemployment level in Gaza is much higher and is in part the result of repeated rounds of hostilities and the severe movement and access restrictions Israel has imposed on Gaza.
  • On 12 December, Addameer published the press release “Israeli Occupation Authorities Leverage Individual Palestinian Human Rights Defenders to Escalate a Systematic Harassment Campaign Against Palestinian Civil Society”. In this release, the organization informed that Israeli military authorities issued a 6-month administrative detention order against a Palestinian lawyer who served as legal advisor to several Palestinian CSOs, and indicated that arbitrary administrative detention practices, targeting individuals, stand in stark violation of international law.
  • On 11 December, Badil issued a statement on the anniversary of the UN General Assembly Resolution 194, stressing that Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons have suffered from a lack of international protection since 1948. Badil recalled that this resolution recognized the Palestinian refugees’ and internally displaced persons’ inalienable right to reparations, including return to their original homes and villages from which they were displaced as a result of the “Nakba” between 1947-1949, property restitution, and compensation.
  • On 10 December, Al-Haq issued a press release to celebrate International Human Rights Day. The organization stated that Israel is repeatedly violating the most basic human rights of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line, adding that 2021 has seen a dramatic escalation of measures aimed at silencing human rights defenders. Al-Haq also published on the same day a video calling for reforms of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to enhance its accessibility, highlighting the obstacles that the Palestinian people face in reaching the HRC.
  • On 10 December, Al Mezan issued a press release to mark International Human Rights Day, condemning Israel’s daily practices that hinder Palestinians’ enjoyment of their basic rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including their inalienable and collective right to self-determination. Al Mezan further called on the international community to uphold its legal and moral obligations towards the Palestinian people in the OPT and ensure accountability for violations of international law.


  • On 15 December, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine informed that a cross-party group of 60 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sent a letter to High Representative of the EU, Joseph Borell, expressing their concerns over formalisation of the Horizon Europe agreement, one of the closest forms of cooperation in research and innovation between the EU and non-EU countries, with Israel. In this letter, MEPs stressed that Israel develops technology that is later used for surveillance on human rights defenders both within the Palestinian context and around the world and urged the European Commission to reconsider and freeze Israel’s participation in Horizon Europe, until Israel guarantees compliance with its obligations under international law towards Palestinians and upholds human rights of all those under its effective control.

North America

  • On 16 December, Americans for Peace Now will hold the webinar “The connection between illegal outposts and settler violence: Peace Now’s new report”. The panel will discuss the finding of the new Peace Now report on settlers’ violence which concluded that most of the documented violent attacks on Palestinians (63%) occurred near outposts considered illegal by the state of Israel, where less than 5% of Israeli settlers reside.
  • On 9 December, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) published the podcast “Israeli Government Escalates Pressure on Israelis Who Stand in Solidarity with Palestinians”, as part of the series “Occupied Thoughts”. In this episode, FMEP interviews Oriel Eisner and Maya Eshel, two activists who were detained by the Israeli police last week in separate but connected incidents.

United Nations

  • On 9 December, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) published a press release to commemorate International Human Rights Day. UNRWA called for an end to inequalities and for the upholding of the human rights of Palestine refugees on an equal basis with others, adding that 2021 has been a particularly difficult year with several conflicts and crises that have hit the most vulnerable and marginalized, including Palestine refugees.

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.


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