Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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19 September 2019

Middle East

  • On 19 September, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association announced that Israeli forces had raided its offices that night and took several laptops and other equipment. This was the third time Israeli forces raided the NGO. Addameer stated it considered the raid “a part of ongoing and systematic attacks against the Palestinian civil society.”
  • On 16 September, Al-Haq condemned the 10 September 2019 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court, which upheld Israel’s policy of withholding bodies of killed Palestinians. This policy is sanctioned by a law and implemented throughout the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem. Although the Israeli High Court of Justice had ruled in an earlier decision in 2017 that there were “fundament rights at stake, first and foremost human dignity” involved in withholding human remains, it had also allowed parliament to authorise the violation of such fundamental rights. In response, the Israeli parliament passed the Counterterrorism Law (Amendment No. 3, 2018), which allows the authorities to withhold bodies unless the families meet certain preconditions.

Europe

  • On 18 September, Amnesty International released a statement in response to the fatal shooting of a Palestinian woman by Israeli guards at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and East Jerusalem, criticising the actions of the Israeli forces and stating that it had documented “hundreds of cases” in the occupied Palestinian territory in which Israeli forces had used lethal force on unarmed Palestinians who were posing no imminent threat.
  • On 11 September, the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign condemned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statements on his intent to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank were he to be re-elected. The NGO furthermore called on the United Kingdom to hold Israel to account for violations of international law.

United Nations

  • On 17 September, UNRWA inaugurated a new building of the Jenin Elementary School for Boys funded through the Saudi Fund for Development. The opening is part of a larger prog