NGO Action News – 9 December 2021

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.

Middle East

  • On 7 December, Al-Haq informed it had submitted two urgent appeals to the United Nations Special Procedures calling on the UN Special Rapporteurs to protect Palestinian human rights organizations and individuals confronted with Israel’s laws, policies and practices aimed at cultivating a coercive environment for Palestinian human rights defenders. Al-Haq further stressed that both spyware surveillance of human rights defenders and Israel’s designations of six CSOs as “terrorist organizations” form part of an interconnected network of inhuman and repressive acts against those who oppose what it considers to be a “regime of apartheid”.
  • On 7 December, Al-Haq published the article “Special Focus: Use of Excessive Force by the Israeli Occupying Forces, the Case of Abdallah Abu Baker”. In this article, the CSO takes example from the injury of a Palestinian minor to argue that employment of excessive force by Israeli security forces is a strategy to silence, punish and weaken legitimate resistance against a multi-layered oppression perpetrated against the Palestinian people.
  • On 2 December, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) published an article to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, recalling that several persons with disabilities have been killed or injured by Israel security forces this year. PHCR further stressed that persons with disabilities still suffer from diminished quality of diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation healthcare services, while their situation in Gaza has been exacerbated by recent conflicts.
  • On 2 December, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies published a joint letter sent by Palestinian and International NGOs and Independent Experts to the EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Borrell and Foreign Ministers of EU member states urging the EU to take targeted sanctions against the Israeli company NSO Group. According to this letter, the systemic targeting of Palestinian human rights defenders with Pegasus spy software provides evidence of a pattern of human rights abuses facilitated by NSO Group through spyware sales to governments that use the technology to persecute civil society and social movements in many countries around the world. The NGOs asked the EU to follow suit and urgently put NSO Group on its global sanction list and take all appropriate action to prohibit the sale, transfer, export, import and use of NSO Group technologies, as well as the provision of services that support NSO Group’s products, until adequate human rights safeguards are in place.
  • On 1 December, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and B’Tselem published the joint report “Unwilling and Unable: Israel’s Whitewashed Investigations of the Great March of Return Protests”. In this report, the two organizations analyse the investigations Israel claims to have conducted following the Great March of Return protests, which from March 2018 were held for about a year and a half in the Gaza Strip. The report further argues that the Israeli military’s investigations in relation to the Gaza protests were never intended to ensure justice for the victims or to deter troops from similar action.
  • On 1 December, Badil published a press release from the Global Palestinian Refugee Network calling on the international donor community to rescind the anti-terrorism clauses and conditions in their granting contracts. The network claims that such clauses imposed by donors reinforce the Israeli strategy to de-legitimize and eliminate the Palestinian civil society.

North America

  • On 2 December, the Foundation for the Middle East Peace (FMEP) published the podcast “Scorched Earth & Settlements in Jerusalem”, from the series Occupied Thoughts. In this podcast, FMEP’s Kristin McCarthy speaks with Daniel Seidemann (Terrestrial Jerusalem) about developments in Jerusalem and the political, diplomatic, and bureaucratic forces at play behind them.

United Nations

  • On 7 December, the CEIRPP held the virtual event “Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations”. The event was organized to shed light on the implications of the Israeli decision of 22 October 2021 to designate six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian NGOs as “terrorist organizations”, with a panel of speakers including Wessam Ahmad (Director of the Applied Center for International Law, Al-Haq), Saleh Higazi (Head of Jerusalem Office, Amnesty International), Michael Sfard (Israeli Human Rights Lawyer) and Omar Shakir (Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch). The event was held in virtual format and livestreamed on UNTV.


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.


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