Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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17 May 2019

Middle East

  • On 18 May, Zochrot will mark the 71st anniversary of the Nakba with a “Memory, Recognition and Return” event in Jaffa where in 1948 only some 4,000 Palestinians out of more than 120,000 residents had remained in the city.
  • On 15 May, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel issued a statement for the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, in which it referred to an ongoing phenomenon and highlighted one of the event’s most devastating consequences, the “transformation of the indigenous Palestinian people into ‘foreigners’ and ‘enemies’ in their own homeland.” Adalah stated that “just as the law is being used by Israel to consolidate the Nakba, the law is also a tool for Palestinians to challenge and resist it.”
  • On 15 May, BADIL – Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights issued a statement for the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Nakba titled “Return is the key to durable peace and justice”. BADIL stated that Palestine refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) continue to call for their right of return on the basis that a durable peace and just solution for the protracted conflict was only achievable through enforcing UNGA Resolution 194 of 1948 and UNSC Resolution 337 of 1967.
  • On 15 May, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights issued a press release to denounce the wounding of 153 Palestinians by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, during a Nakba commemoration demonstration on the same day. Al Mezan condemned the continued use of excessive and other unlawful force by the Israeli forces, including snipers, during police demonstrations.
  • On 15 May, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) issued a joint statement “Stop the Ongoing Nakba: Protect Palestinian Refugees”, asserting that the international community had not taken any measures to adequately address an ongoing Nakba by the provision of just and durable solutions as stipulated by international law. PHROC called on the UN General Assembly to establish a mandatory financing mechanism to secure the funding of UNRWA; on UN Agencies, particularly UNRWA and UNHCR, to uphold and fulfil their obligations and the Palestine refugees’ exclusion from protection systems; and on Member States to adopt and implement the recommendations in the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza protests.
  • On 14 May, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) called on international and local NGOs to reject donations from Airbnb, until its policies ensure respect for the human rights of people living under occupation. The company, which provides rental properties around the world, announced in November 2018 that it would no longer list properties in illegal settlements in the West Bank; but reversed its decision last April as part of its “settlement terms” with the settlers. Based on the latter, Airbnb will donate the profits to NGOs “dedicated to humanitarian aid.” In its statement, PNGO underscores that Airbnb donations effectively “amounts to the proceeds of crime and will be amassed by the illegal policies and practices [Palestinian NGOs] seek to end.”
  • On 14 May, Breaking the Silence organized a series of guided tours in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) during the Eurovision week, from Tel Aviv to Hebron. The tours are aimed at the general public, who can have “an important role in supporting Israelis and Palestinians who are working towards ending the occupation.” They are led by soldiers who broke their silence about their military service in the OPT.

Europe

  • On 15 May, to mark Nakba Day, Amnesty International dedicated a website 70+ Years of Suffocation to showcase powerful images and testimonies telling the stories of Palestine refugees living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Jordan and Lebanon.

North America

  • On 15 May, The People’s Forum organized a “Teach-In on the Ongoing Nakba in Palestine” in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Nakba. The event, which featured speakers from Al-Shabaka, examined the ongoing process of “land theft, cartographic manipulation and mass incarceration from the early twentieth century to the present day.” The People’s Forum will also organize a film screening, on 20 May, of “1948: Creation and Catastrophe”, on personal stories and testimonies from Palestinians whose families have been directly affected.

United Nations

  • On 27 and 28 June, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), with support from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, will convene the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem “Preserving the cultural and religious character of Jerusalem” at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Conference, which will bring together Palestinian, Israeli and international experts, representatives of the diplomatic community and civil society, will address the issue of Israel’s policies and measures aimed at changing the character of Jerusalem and seek to formulate concrete recommendations for the preservation of a City, considered sacred by three religions.
  • On 13 May, UNRWA announced the launch if the “Be the Light” Campaign for food insecure Palestine refugees in Gaza. The campaign calls on donations for the provision of emergency food baskets for the most vulnerable children and their families in Gaza. Also, UNRWA warned that, unless the agency secures at least an additional US $60 million by June, its ability to continue providing food to more than 1 million Palestine refugees in Gaza would be severely challenged.

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.

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.