Civil Society and the Question of Palestine

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9 April 2020

Middle East

  • On 9 April, B’Tselem issued a report on the Israeli military blocking access to West Bank villages in January and February 2020 as a means of collective punishment.
  • On 7 April, Al-Haq issued a press release calling on Israeli authorities to “save lives” in the face of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip. The NGO also asked international organizations to call on Israel to fulfill its duties and responsibilities to assist the Palestinian health system and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including to ensure that the relevant medical equipment and supplies are provided to the greatest extent possible and lifting the closure on the Strip to enable the proper functioning of its health system in face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On 7 April, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued a statement on World Health Day to express its growing concern for Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli facilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Addameer reminded that around the world UN experts have highlighted the need to ensure the release of political prisoners in response to the pandemic and called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli prisoners to ensure their safety, and on the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to ensure the protection of all prisoners without discrimination by adopting the recent WHO guidance on preventing COVID-19 outbreak in prisons.
  • On 7 April, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights issued a statement on World Health Day, calling upon the international community and World Health Organization to put pressure on Israel and compel it to allow the entry of medical equipment needed for the medical examination of COVID-19 patients into Gaza and for the international community and humanitarian organizations to supply equipment to Gaza hospitals to prevent its health sector from collapsing.
  • On 5 April, Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement issued a press release to denounce the restrictions imposed by Israel over the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza, which have harmed the Strip’s farmers and their livelihoods. Gisha stated that as Gaza braces itself to tackle COVID-19, Israel must ensure that its economy is afforded the greatest possible protections and should allow the agricultural sector access to the materials it needs to function.

North America

  • On 13 April, Americans for Peace Now will organize an online briefing “From Settlements to Annexation” featuring Shaqued Morag and Brian Reeves of Israel’s Peace Now. The guests will discuss Israel’s new government and their plans of annexing the West Bank and the ways Israel’s peace movement will respond.

United Nations

  • On 14 April, the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will host Mr. Matthias Schmale, Director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip, for a virtual discussion on “The COVID-19 Pandemic in Gaza and Ways to Mitigate its Impact on Palestine Refugees”. The conversation will address the recent and current developments in the occupied Gaza Strip during the global Coronavirus pandemic, UNRWA assistance to Palestine refugees in the Strip and the need for continued international resolve to support the Agency including with emergency funding.
  • On 7 April, UNRWA issued a press release about a meeting between the Commissioner- General of the Agency, Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, and the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, Mr. Mohammad Shtayyeh. The Commissioner-General provided an update via video teleconference on UNRWA’s prevention and response plans that complement those of the Palestinian Government and on the ongoing and relentless efforts to raise the necessary funds that will ensure uninterrupted services.


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.