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On 30 March, Al Mezan and partner organizations submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Committee ahead of Israel’s 5th periodic review. According to Al Mezan, this submission analyses Israel’s widespread and systematic violations of the civil and political rights of Palestinians within its jurisdiction or territory of effective control, thereby evidencing that the violations of the rights enshrined in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights also amount to the inhuman acts that constitute the crime of apartheid under international law.
On 29 March, Badil published a statement by the Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN) to commemorate “Land Day” (30 March). GPRN recalled that as this 46th commemoration is taking place in a very complex local, regional, and international context, the Palestinian people are still fighting to preserve their land. GPRM further condemned Israel’s discriminatory policies against Palestinians and criticized countries normalizing their relations with Israel.
On 24 March, Peace Now informed that the Israeli Ministry of Housing opened the lottery for the purchase of apartments in the new under-construction settlement of Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem. The lottery is for Israelis eligible for discounted housing following the Ministry of Housing criteria to try to win the right to buy an apartment at a discounted rate. Following this new step toward the construction of this settlement, Peace Now recalled that the settlement in Givat Hamatos, due to its strategic location, is harming peace prospects.
On 24 March, Gisha published an article informing that Israel is preventing hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza from moving to the West Bank, even after allowing them to update their registered address in the Palestinian population registry, which it controls. Gisha reported that according to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, 1,179 of the people whose addresses were changed have applied for a permit to relocate to the West Bank, but only 156 have been approved by Israel so far.
On 22 March, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) along with 22 civil society organizations and the missions of Malaysia, Namibia, Pakistan, Palestine, and South Africa, held a high-level side event ‘Examining the applicability and implications of the apartheid framework to Israel’s repressive rule over the Palestinian people’, in parallel to the Human Rights Council 49th session. Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk presented his report concluding that Israeli authorities are committing the crime of apartheid. Other speakers including Nada Awad of CIHRS, Shawan Jabarin of Al-Haq, Nuriya Oswald of Al Mezan, Magdalena Mughrabi of Amnesty International, and Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch, all welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s report. The hybrid event was attended in person by over forty representatives of states, OHCHR, and civil society, in addition to 160 participants online.
On 25 March, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) called for the European Union to act to stop the Gaza blockade. ECCP recalled that the Gaza Strip has been under Israeli occupation since 1967 and under a tight blockade by Israel since 2007 by land, air and sea. This blockade impacts all aspects of the population’s daily life and consolidates the territorial and political fragmentation of Palestine, undermining dignified life and self-determination for the people. ECCP demanded that the EU and its member states uphold their moral and legal obligations and work towards the immediate and unconditional lifting of the blockade of Gaza guided by the principles of international law.
On 30 March, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) organized the webinar “Policing the Narrative: Israel & Apartheid in the US Debate”. The event explored the dynamics and tactics on display in the responses from defenders of the status quo to the growing use and acceptance of the apartheid framing — including deflection and misdirection aimed at shifting focus away from factual findings and delegitimization of human rights defenders and Palestinian rights activists. Panellists included Paul O’Brien (Executive Director at Amnesty International USA), Maha Nassar (associate professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona), Peter Beinart (author, journalist and teacher at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center), and Lara Friedman (FMEP President).
On 28 March, Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued a statement welcoming the Negev summit, which brought together the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. However, APN expressed its disappointment and concern that the summit participants did not do more to leverage their enhanced collaboration toward advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace. APN further stated that the improving relations between Israel and a higher number of Arab states must be used as an opportunity to prioritize diplomatic efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.
On 24 March, American for Peace Now published the webinar “The Demolition Threat Against Al-Walaja”. During this event, Aviv Tatarsky (Ir Amim) and Mark Zivin (a member of an ad-hoc committee in the US and Israel who are working on behalf of Al-Walaja’s villagers) discussed the potential consequences of the Israeli Supreme Court hearing, on 30 March, on the appeal of 38 Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem village of Al-Walaja, whose homes are under threat of demolition.
On 25 March, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published the Protection of Civilians Report covering the period 8-21 March 2022. During the reporting period, OCHA reported that 3 Palestinians have been killed and 222 injured by Israeli Security Forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In addition, the Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced owners to demolish nine Palestinian homes and other structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. As a result, eleven people were displaced, including seven children.
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.