Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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28 May 2020

Middle East

  • On 27 May, HaMoked – Centre for the Defence of the Individual announced that for the first time since 2016, Israel’s High Court of Justice had cancelled a punitive order for the demolition of a West Bank home in the Hebron district following a petition from the organization. The justices accepted HaMoked’s argument that the order was disproportionate due to the excessive delay in its issuance.
  • On 24 May, Peace Now launched the campaign “Tell the Jewish National Fund: ‘Don’t Uproot the Sumarin Family!’” ahead of a 30 June hearing by Israeli courts of the final appeal of a case in which the Jewish National Fund (JNF) will seek to evict a Palestinian family from their home in Silwan in East Jerusalem.
  • On 20 May, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies reported on a joint webinar, held on 11 May with the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, on “Countering Israel’s Impending Illegal Annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory”. Speakers included experts Susan Power, Suhad Bishara, Nasser Al-Qudwa and Michael Lynk, who presented their analyses of the practical and legal ramifications of Israel’s de facto and de jure annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory and its effect on the relationship with the international community. Practical recommendations included recognition of the State of Palestine, ban on Israeli settlement goods, support to the annual update of the UN database of businesses involved in Israeli settlements, and endorsement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opening investigations into the situation in Palestine.


  • On 28 May, Amnesty International issued the statement “Israel Must Lift Punitive Travel Ban on Amnesty Campaigner” to denounce the punitive travel ban imposed on Amnesty International’s Campaigner Laith Abu Zeyad. The organization has launched a digital campaign, ahead of a court hearing on 31 May in a Jerusalem District Court, calling on supporters and activists from around the world to show solidarity with Laith and other Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders who are being punished for their human rights activism.

North America

  • On 27 May, Americans for Peace Now (APN) published the paper “Seven Reasons for Opposing West Bank Annexation”. APN discusses how Israel, by unilaterally annexing areas in the West Bank, would be violating international law and might suffer punitive consequences; how unilateral annexation would deal a severe blow to any future efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, take what was supposed to be a temporary non-democratic situation and make it both permanent and formal; and how it would impact Israel’s relations with the international community, particularly with Europe, its chief trade partner.
  • On 25 May, Human Rights Watch issued the position paper “Amnesty International Staffer Challenges Israel’s Travel Ban – New Government Should End Assault on Rights Advocacy”.
  • On 15 May, Jewish Voice for Peace organized an online rally, attended by thousands of people, to commemorate Nakba Day and the 72nd year of Palestinian resistance to Israeli dislocation and dispossession. With speeches by filmmaker Ken Loach, Mandla Mandela, Diana Buttu and Ghada Karmi, among others, the event sought to elevate participants’ opposition to land theft and annexation.

United Nations

  • On 4 June, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold the UN Forum on “The Question of Palestine: Threats of Annexation and the Prospects for Peace” from 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. (New York) via Webex, livestreamed to UNTV and UN Twitter. Three prominent speakers – Ms. Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the PLO Executive Committee; Mr. Yossi Beilin, Former Israeli Cabinet Minister; and Mr. James Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute – will outline prevailing challenges and formulate recommendations to overcome the current political impasse for salvaging peace prospects.


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.