Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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8 February 2019

Middle East

  • On 8 February, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the continuous use of lethal and other excessive force by Israeli forces against demonstrators, journalists and paramedics. Reportedly, during the 46th Friday of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege Israeli forces killed two Palestinian children and wounded 90 civilians. The PCHR also called upon the International Criminal Court Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and hold all those responsible accountable.
  • On 7 February, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights filed an appeal in the Israeli Supreme Court against a Be’er Sheva District Court ruling rejecting compensation for a resident of Gaza Strip who was shot and wounded by Israeli military. According to Article 5/B-1 of Amendment No. 8 of Israel’s Civil Wrongs Law enacted in 2012, residents of a territory declared by the Israeli government as “enemy territory” – as Gaza was declared in 2007 – are not eligible to seek compensation from Israel for any reason. The organisations argued that the lower court’s decision and the amendment to the law violate both Israeli and international law, which require that protected civilians be entitled to effective legal remedies.
  • On 7 February, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) called on the Palestinian Government to recede its decision to cease payment of salaries to Government employees in the Gaza Strip. PCHR argued that the decision would be a prelude to Palestinian Government’s abdication of its legal obligations towards the Gaza Strip. The decision came following the statement by ‘Azzam Al-Ahmed, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who disclosed the Palestinian leadership’s intention to declare the Gaza Strip as “a rebel territory”. According to PCHR around 5043 Government employees from the Gaza Strip working in the civil and military sectors did not receive their January 2019 salaries.
  • On 7 February, Addameer-Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to uphold its responsibilities and provide protection to Palestinian prisoners. The statement was issued following the death of Faris Baroud, a Palestinian on 6 February who was in Israeli custody since 1991.
  • On 4 February, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights called on the Palestinian Government to prevent political disputes or agendas from impacting the availability of essential medicines, technical expertise, and financial obligations to the health sector in Gaza. Al Mezan urged the Government to adopt a strategy to develop health services and invest in health centres that specialize in breast cancer care. Al Mezan also called on the international community to increase support to medical sector and increase pressure on the Israeli authorities to ensure that the flow of the medical supplies is not interrupted and patients’ right to receive treatment outside of Gaza is respected.

North America

  • On 12 February, the Columbia University Center for Palestine Studies will host the event “Unsettling Spaces: Technologies of Violence in Palestinian Jerusalem”. The event will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Knox Hall Room 207.
  • On 6 February, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel Attorney, Soheir Asaad, and the Adalah Justice Project Acting Director, Sandra Tamari, met with United States congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Adalah partners, such as Center for Constitutional Rights and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, were also present in the meeting.

United Nations

  • On 6 February, the European Union (EU) contributed EUR 12 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of humanitarian health programmes in the Gaza Strip. The Agency operates 22 primary healthcare centres across Gaza.
  • On 6 February, the UNRWA Young Women Leaders Programme (YWLP) finalized implementation of the project “Improving Young Graduate Women’s Right to Work in the Gaza Strip through the Provision of Professional Internships” funded by the Spanish Baleares Regional Government. The project provided 90 new female graduates with employment empowerment training and 55 of them were offered short-term employment opportunities, including work-placements with local community based organizations.

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.