Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

This page may contain links to third-party Web sites. The linked sites are not under the control of the United Nations and the United Nations is not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. The United Nations provides these links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link or reference does not imply endorsement of the linked site by the United Nations. This newsletter is a project of the Division for Palestinian Rights, and is intended to provide information on NGO activities relevant to the question of Palestine . NGOs interested in contributing information on their activities should communicate it by email.The Division reserves the right to make the final selection with regard to material to be included in this newsletter. It cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

5 April 2019

Middle East

  • On 2 April, Gisha- Legal Center for Freedom of Movement commented on Israel’s decision to implement a partial expansion to 15 nautical miles of the “fishing zone” it enforces off the Gaza Strip that, while it was the first time that part of the fishing zone has been extended to this distance since restrictions on access took effect in 1995 following the implementation of the Oslo Accords, restrictions on entry of materials into Gaza required for repairs to boats damaged by gunfire or accidents at sea were still ongoing.
  • On 1 April, Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, issued a statement on the anniversaries of Land Day and the Great March of Return to condemn Israel’s disproportionate response to Gazan protesters, as well as the ongoing blockade and indiscriminate attacks on Gaza. Mossawa Center called on the international community to stand by the right of Palestinians, “whether they are in Gaza or in the Galilee,” to non-violently resist Israel’s aggression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and discrimination against the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel.
  • On 1 April, Al-Haq and Brazilian human rights NGO Conectas sent a letter to the Brazilian Representative Office in the State of Palestine and the Embassy of Brazil in Israel, warning against Brazil’s “recent and unprecedent policy shift” towards the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem, and on accountability under UN Human Rights Council, agenda Item 2. Al-Haq and Conectas denounced Brazil’s recent vote at the Human Rights Council’s 40th regular session, against the resolution on accountability within the context of the Great March of Return, because the vote undermines Palestinian fundamental rights including the right to life and to assembly.
  • On 1 April, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) welcomed the release by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)of a detailed list of issues to be addressed by Israel on the Bedouin community in Israel and the Jewish Nation-State Law,. Adalah and NCF had previously submitted a joint report to CESCR focusing on Israel’s violations of the rights of Bedouin citizens in the Naqab/Negev and the implications of the Jewish Nation-State Law on land and housing in the area.
  • On 30 March, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Great March of Return demonstrations, reiterated its support to the UN Commission of Inquiry report, which concluded that Israeli forces had committed serious violations of international law in their response to the Palestinian protests, including by using lethal and other excessive and unnecessary force. Al Mezan also called on the international community to assert pressure on Israeli authorities to ensure that peaceful protesters were able to demand their legitimate rights in safety and dignity.

North America

  • On 13 April, The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development will host Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zumlot for a conference on “The Ultimate Deal: The Palestine Perspective”. The Palestinian ambassador will provide updates on the latest political and diplomatic developments; and will discuss whether the Palestinian leadership still believes in a peace settlement.
  • On 6 April, The People’s Forum will stream the documentary film “Between Two Crossings” on a Palestinian student from Gaza who, after receiving a scholarship to enrol in a university in the United States, struggled to find a way to travel through the only two gates separating the Gaza Strip from the rest of the world – Erez checkpoint and Rafah crossing.
  • On 29 March, Jewish Voice for Peace issued a statement in support the “Jewish-Black-Palestinian Solidarity” movement in the United States. The organization referred to recent attacks against Marc Lamont Hill, Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander, and affirmed its commitment to growing a stronger Jewish-Black-Palestinian solidarity, in response to the “public targeting of Black leaders in [their] movement for justice, equality and dignity in Palestine/Israel.”

United Nations

  • On 4 April, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People convened the United Nations Forum on the Question of Palestine “The threat of de facto annexation – What next for Palestine?” at UN Headquarters in New York. The Forum addressed the creeping Israeli annexation in the OPT including in and around East Jerusalem, its impact on the viability of the two-State solution. Panelists included Israeli and Palestinian speakers, a Senator of Ireland, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. Speakers discussed Israeli laws, measures and stated intentions to bring about a de facto if not de jure annexation of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and practical countermeasures available to States and civil society. The Forum was attended by over 50 Member States, as well as Observer States and Organizations, and the public; 1,500 people viewed the event via UNTV.
  • On 2 April, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov issued a statement on the situation in Gaza. He spoke of the humanitarian assistance provided by the UN in the Strip and welcomed Israel’s decision to increase the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles in certain places and urged for a substantial improvement of the movement and access for goods and people. He reiterated that “there can be no state in Gaza, and there can be no state without Gaza.”

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.