Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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21 December 2018

Middle East

  • On 15 December, Al-Haq issued a statement criticising the Government of Australia for formally recognising the annexed West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Al-Haq underscored that the recognition violates international law governing the status of Jerusalem in addition to Australia’s obligations as a third State party not to recognise as lawful situations resulting from serious breaches of international law, including Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.
  • On 15 December, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), condemned the use of excessive force by the Palestinian Security Services to disperse two peaceful protests in Hebron and Ramallah. One of the protests was organized by Hamas affiliates to mark the anniversary of their Movement while the other was organized by activists against the killing of a Palestinian by the Israeli forces. While stressing the right to peaceful assembly, PCHR called on the Attorney General to investigate and hold those responsible accountable.
  • On 11 December, the Global Palestinian Refugee Network and the Palestinian Coalition for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, launched “UNRWA is Our Right until We Return” campaign through a grassroots initiative, attended by Palestinian refugees, activists and representatives of civil society organizations at the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. The Palestinian-led campaign arose as a direct response to recent efforts to defund UNRWA, and to pressure the international community to take practical measures to protect Palestinian refugees.


  • On 10 December, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) published a new report titled “Voices of Return: Documenting Israel’s Repression of the Great March of Return.” The report is based on a PRC submission to the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests against the ongoing siege of the occupied Gaza Strip.

North America

  • On 17 December, the Americans for Peace Now (APN) expressed alarm at two measures adopted by the Government of Israel to legalize existing settlement-outposts and pave way for establishment of new ones on Palestinian lands in the West Bank. APN called on the United States and the international community to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the measures.

United Nations

  • On 21 December, the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) signed a contribution agreement of US$ 2.35 million in support of the Agency’s 2018 Emergency Appeal for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
  • On 19 December, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Taawon (Welfare Association) and the Open Society Foundations, signed a US$ 1.5 million Memorandum of Understanding to support the Agency’s education programmes.
  • On 18 December, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, briefed the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016). The Special Coordinator underscored that developments on the ground, including regional and international efforts to advance peace, were tied to the broader context of Israel’s continued military occupation of the Palestinian territory; uncertainties about the future of the peace process and the two-state solution; continuing hold of Hamas over Gaza and its militant activities; the persistent threat of war; unilateral actions that undermine peace efforts; reduced donor support for Palestine; and turmoil in the wider region. He reiterated concerns about the weakening international consensus and the absence of collective efforts to achieve an end to the occupation and the realization of a negotiated two-state solution.
  • On 17 December, the Minister of Social Development of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shaer, and the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, launched a US$ 350 million appeal to address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians in 2019 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • On 17 December, the State of Qatar and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) signed a two-year agreement in support of the Agency’s core services, including education, health-care, relief and social services. The agreement follows Qatar’s recent contribution of US$ 50 million in response to UNRWA’s financial crisis.

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.