Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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18 January 2019

Middle East

  • On 17 January, HaMoked informed that the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected its request to hold a further hearing on the judgment favouring punitive demolition order of the family home of a Palestinian minor accused of committing a fatal stabbing attack in September 2018. HaMoked reported that the request for a further hearing was based on the minority opinion of Justice Karra, who held that the home should not be demolished in this case, given that the accused was a minor and that the family played no part in his action.
  • On 17 January, Adalah- The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent a petition to Israeli Interior Minister Deri, Mifal Hapais Director Yitzhaki, and Kabul Council Chairman Reyan demanding that the performance by Palestinian artists “Palestine Year Zero”, which was cancelled on 13 December in the town of Kabul, be rescheduled as soon as possible, with full funding. Adalah stated that illegitimate political considerations had led to the cancellation of the performance, severely violating both artistic freedom and freedom of expression.
  • On 15 January, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights briefed the representative of the Netherlands Office in Ramallah about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the critical effects of the continued blockade, closure of borders, and restriction of movement of people and goods. Al Mezan noted that the ongoing Palestinian internal division has also resulted in undermining not only the fundamental rights of the people but also the rule of law and the overall living conditions in Gaza.
  • On 11 January, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights issued a statement condemning Israeli forces’ use of lethal and other forms of excessive force against Palestinian protesters during the 42nd week of the demonstrations in the context of the “Great March of Return” in the Gaza Strip. The attacks resulted in dozens of casualties including children, women, journalist, and paramedic.

North America

  • On 17 January, Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network published a commentary suggesting that Palestinians adopt an effective strategy that mobilizes a range of resources to influence mass public opinion in favour of their cause. Al-Shabaka noted that lack of consensus among Palestinians over how to frame their collective struggle prevented the adoption of clear messages to articulate, consolidate, and amplify their national narrative and discourse on a global scale.
  • On 9 January, Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network reported that the Palestinian agriculture industry had been severely damaged by the continuation of Israel’s occupation and limited investment by the Palestinian Government with less than one percent of its budget allocated to the besieged sector. Al-Shabaka noted that the neglect has contributed to a pervasive process of de-development that has gradually deprived farming of its transformative potential, while expanding Israel’s territorial dominance and control.

United Nations

  • On 15 January, the State of Palestine assumed the Chairpersonship of the Group of 77 + China from Egypt. Speaking during the handover ceremony, President Abbas highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also noted that people living under occupation, including Palestinians, should not be an exception from the multilateral human rights protection and development agenda in line with the decisions of the Group, including the Johannesburg Plan of Action, the relevant provisions of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

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.