NGO Action News – 21 October 2021

Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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Middle East

  • On 18 October, Al-Haq informed that it and other civil society organizations published an open letter urging world leaders to put human rights at the centre of environmental policy and climate change policy making. This letter has been published in preparation for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow (UK) from 31 October to 12 November 2021. Al-Haq further emphasized the challenges posed by the Israeli occupation, including land and resource dispossession, on the Palestinian people’s capacity to tackle climate change.
  • On 17 October, 7amleh published a statement from the Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition welcoming Facebook’s decision issued on 14 October to implement the recommendation of the company’s Oversight Board to conduct a comprehensive and independent audit of its Arabic and Hebrew content management policies. According to this statement, the coalition supports this important step, which comes in result of the mounting pressure on the company to stop its discriminatory policy against Palestinians and Palestinian content in particular.
  • On 17 October, Al Mezan issued a press release to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The NGO stressed that Israel’s repeated military offensives against the Gaza Strip were a major factor in undoing any progress in the fight against poverty. The document also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had revealed and exacerbated the social protection gaps in Gaza’s welfare system and pushed thousands of people into poverty. Following these considerations, Al Mezan called on the international community to put pressure upon Israel to end the Gaza blockade, to move forward with the reconstruction of Gaza’s infrastructure and to support relief organizations.
  • On 12 October, Badil held a conference – with attendees including representatives of civil society institutions, diplomatic missions, international institutions, university students and activists – to announce the results of a survey of Palestinian youth on their views on the Oslo peace process. Of the surveyed youth, 92.7% believe that the Oslo peace process has failed to achieve the desired goals, compared to 7.3% who said it has succeeded. The survey was part of a research paper, “Palestinian Youth Perspective about the Oslo Peace Process: Success, Failure, and Alternatives.”

North America

  • From 20 to 22 October, the Columbia University Institute for Palestine Studies is organising a virtual conference in celebration of 50 years of the Journal of Palestine Studies. The event will include a panel, roundtable, and two workshops. Among the speakers are Rana Barakat, Rashid Khalidi, Sherene Seikaly and Salim Tamari.
  • On 18 October, Americans for Peace Now published the article “Hard Questions, Tough Answers: Shrinking the conflict?” In this article, Yossi Alpher, an independent security analyst, argues that the concept of shrinking the conflict, used by prominent Israeli representatives, is based on the assumption that there is no near-term prospect of a Palestinian-Israeli end-of-conflict agreement and that therefore Israeli authorities have conducted policies to lessen the intensity of the conflict, mostly through economic measures, but have not addressed the fundamental issue, which is of a political nature.

United Nations

  • On 29 November, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at UN Headquarters in New York with a special session of the Committee, including high-level Member States representatives. Concurring events are also planned at the UN Offices at Geneva (UNOG), Nairobi (UNON) and Vienna (UNOV).
  • On 19 October, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, briefed the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question. He reported that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to deteriorate during the reporting period, without progress made towards realizing a two-State solution. Daily violence continued throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including injuries and fatalities of civilians. Mr. Wennesland also expressed concerns about settlement expansion, including on the Israeli authorities plans for construction in E1. The Special Coordinator further urged Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.


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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