Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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30 January 2020

Middle East

  • On 30 January, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) rejected the US “Peace to Prosperity” plan, “which legitimizes Israeli crimes and deprives Palestinians of their legal and political rights […]” and called upon the international community to stand for and protect the rule of law and support international accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court.
  • On 30 January, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel criticized the US plan for giving “a green light to permanently establish an Israeli apartheid regime in the West Bank, including illegal annexation of massive swaths of the occupied Palestinian West Bank that negates the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” Adalah also criticises the proposal for the forced transfer of over 260,000 Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel living in ten towns of the Triangle region in the centre of the country to “a future enclave of Palestine”.
  • On 29 January, Ir Amim published the article “Implications of the US Peace on the Future of Jerusalem”, calling the plan a “blatant violation” of the Holy Sites’ status quo and a reflection of Israeli efforts in recent years to officially sever the neighbourhoods beyond the Wall from Jerusalem and to accelerate Jewish settlement campaigns in the Old City Basin.
  • On 29 January, Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement declared in a statement that it will continue to promote the fundamental right to freedom of movement for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a “precondition for exercising other fundamental rights and for living a life of dignity”, following the release of the release of the US plan. Gisha argued that bridges and tunnels presented in the plan are not enough given that the only vision presented is “for enclaves, disturbingly reminiscent of Bantustans, whose residents will be deprived of rights and of control over their own fate.”
  • On 28 January, B’Tselem denounced the US plan as “unacceptable” for legitimizing, entrenching and expanding “the scope of Israel’s human rights abuses, perpetuated now for over 52 years.” B’Tselem added that a solution of this sort, which fails to “ensure human rights, liberty and equality of all people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and instead perpetuates one side’s oppression and dispossession of the other” is not a legitimate one.
  • On 28 January, Al-Haq, in reference to the US plan, reaffirmed its position that any plan or project aiming towards an effective and sustainable solution must be grounded in international law and justice and confirm “an end to Israel’s prolonged occupation; the genuine realisation of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes […]”, address “the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory” and seek to counter annexation.
  • On 27 January, BADIL – Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights announced that the Palestinian National Campaign members had refused conditional funding imposed by the European Union (EU), which they consider as “inseparable from the so-called Deal of the Century.” They also agreed to proceed with the campaign until the EU retracts these conditions.

Europe

  • On 29 January, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), along with Catholic Relief Services, Care USA, Global Communities, Islamic Relief, Mercy Corps and others working in the West Bank and Gaza, issued a joint statement to urge the international community to pursue a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with human rights and international law that guarantees safety for all the region’s people. The organizations warned the US plan risked exacerbating instability and rights violations and called on Israel to refrain from “any move to annex territory, transfer property, restrict movement, or limit access to goods and services following the plan’s disclosure […].”
  • On 28 January, UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organizations, including Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Sabeel-Kairos UK, and Council for Arab-British Understanding, issued a joint statement, shortly before the release of the US plan, to reiterate their urgent call on the UK Government, parliamentarians and civil society organizations to reaffirm the principles of international law and justice at this critical time, and uphold their respective legal and moral responsibilities to robustly defend the rights of the Palestinian people.

North America

  • On 28 January, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) denounced the US plan as “an apartheid plan” and stated that “international law, global consensus and decades of US policy concur that Palestinian land isn’t for Trump to give away nor for Netanyahu to steal” and “the only way forward towards lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians is through justice, freedom and equality for everyone.”
  • On 28 January, Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued a press release calling to reject the US plan because it would be dealing “a severe blow to efforts to achieve real peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” APN called on supporters of Israeli-Palestinian peace, including “friends at major American Jewish organizations,” to distance themselves from the US plan and to take action to rekindle prospects for a viable two-State solution.

United Nations

  • On 29 January, the United Nations Secretary-General, following the announcement of the United States plan for the Middle East, reiterated the position of the United Nations on the two-State solution, which has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat still abides. The Spokesperson’s note also stated that the United Nations remains “committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of its resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements and realizing the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side […].”

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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.