Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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7 June 2019

Middle East

  • On 6 June, Hamoked – Centre for the Defence of the Individual reported the publication of the new Israeli State Comptroller’s special report on the city of Jerusalem, containing an extensive chapter titled “The State’s Handling of the Civil Status of the Residents of East Jerusalem”. Hamoked explained that the chapter describes the conduct of the Ministry of Interior and the National Insurance Institute towards East Jerusalem residents, which “harms, often in a very severe manner, [their] possibility…to fully realize their rights as permanent residents…” Hamoked said the deficiencies detailed in the report were in line with the NGO’s claims concerning “the unacceptable conditions in the Ministry of Interior bureau in East Jerusalem and the protracted processing time of requests for child registration and family unification.”
  • On 5 June, B’Tselem launched a new interactive project “Conquer and Divide” to mark the 52 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The map illustrates Israel’s “encroachment upon Palestinian space over the decades.” Conquer and Divide project traces how government resolutions, military orders and state planning have created ever-expanding Israeli settlements and infrastructure, promoting Israeli interests at the expense of Palestinians’ rights. The combination of measures put into evidence by B’Tselem include annexation; establishment of settlements, declaration of “state land”, firing zones, nature reserves and national parks; constructing the Separation Barrier and dividing the West Bank into Areas A, B and C with varying forms of control.
  • On 1 June, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published a report on “East Jerusalem: Facts and Figures 2019”. The report details the situation of the 341,453 Palestinians residing in Jerusalem (roughly 38 per cent of the total population of the city), providing an overview of the legal status of East Jerusalem residents as of May 2019; their access to welfare, education, health care and transportation; as well as an update on planning, constructions and demolitions in the city.
  • On 29 May, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights issued a special report on Israeli violations against Al-Walajah village, southwest of Jerusalem and north of Bethlehem. The report examines the measures taken by Israeli forces since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in terms of imposing Israeli law, confiscating lands and establishing settlement projects in the framework of annexing the Occupied Territory to Israel. The report “Al-Walajah village under Settlement and Isolation” reviews the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Bethlehem, particularly Gush Etzion, the largest and first settlement established in the occupied territory after 1967.

North America

Upcoming Events

  • On 27 and 28 June, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), with support from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, will convene the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem “Preserving the cultural and religious character of Jerusalem” at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Conference, which will bring together Palestinian, Israeli and international experts, representatives of the diplomatic community and civil society, will address the issue of Israel’s policies and measures aimed at changing the character of Jerusalem and seek to formulate concrete recommendations for the preservation of a City, considered sacred by three religions.
  • On 18 June, the Arab American Institute will be holding a conversation about the United States’ policy towards the Palestinians with Brookings fellow Khaled Elgindy, author of the new book “Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump”.
  • From 8 to 21 June, Mossawa Centre – The Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel will tour the United States and Canada including Washington D.C, New York, Toronto and Ottawa. In addition to examining the ramifications of recent political and legislative developments in Israel and unpacking the so-called “Deal of the Century”, Mossawa will discuss the central role of the Palestinian minority in promoting the conditions necessary for a sustainable peace and how the international community can support them in this role.

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.