Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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22 August 2019

Middle East

  • On 20 August, Adalah – Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel announced that the Israeli authorities were reformulating a policy that prohibits the plucking of the herbs akoub, za’atar and sage in the wild. As these herbs are traditionally used in Palestinian cuisine, the ban on their harvest has mostly affected Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel. Adalah stated that the current enforcement policy for the protection of these herbs was “at the very least disproportionate and cannot withstand judicial review.”
  • On 20 August, BADIL – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights released a research paper investigating the process of de facto and de jure annexation, using the case study of the Etzion settlement bloc in the area of Bethlehem. According to the organisation “annexation is being incrementally pursued in ways that are designed to create a façade of legality.”
  • On 19 August, Al-Haq released a statement on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, drawing attention to humanitarian challenges in the Gaza Strip related to protests, the blockade, health services, and economic difficulties resulting from Israel’s enforcement of the land-based “buffer zone” surrounding Gaza. The NGO stated that the international community “must call upon Israel to take responsibility for the well-being of the occupied population in the OPT.”
  • On 19 August, BADIL – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights announced it had concluded its first “International Mobilisation Course for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People”. Nineteen international activists participated in the course, which strengthened their advocacy skills and deepened their knowledge and understanding of the situation in Palestine.
  • On 19 August, the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council condemned Israel’s decision to deny U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry into the OPT. The NGO further explained that it considered the Israeli measure unlawful as it was based on the application of domestic Israeli law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in violation of Article 64 of the 4th Geneva Convention, and called it an “annexationist measure”.

North America

  • On 15 August, Americans for Peace Now called on the Government of Israel to reverse its decision to deny U.S. Representatives Omar and Tlaib entry into OPT, stating it was “outrageous and self-defeating”.

United Nations

  • On 19 August, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Jamie McGoldrick released a statement on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day honouring the work of women. Stating that women were leading vital humanitarian work while being underrepresented, Mr. McGoldrick reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations “to doing more to support their work.” He added that research had shown that female engagement in humanitarian work increased the reach and quality of aid operations.

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.