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oPt: Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action News – 1 July 2020

Country: occupied Palestinian territory Source: UN Information Centres 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. 1 July 2020 Middle East On 1 July, Al-Haq issued a press release on behalf of Palestinian civil society unions, organizations, human rights and advocacy groups to reiterate the call for immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel s annexation and apartheid. The signatories reiterated their unified call on all States and international organizations to respect their legal obligations to cooperate to end Israel s illegal occupation and annexation, by immediately implementing measures including a ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel, suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel, prohibition of trade with the illegal Israeli settlements and termination of corporate business with Israel s illegal settlement enterprise, and to support efforts at the UN to reconstitute the UN Special Committee against Apartheid, among others. On 1 July, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) and Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO) issued a press release in commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June. The NGOs denounced the severe torture and humiliation Palestinian detainees suffer in Israeli prisons, with the complicity of doctors and judges at military and civil courts and stated that the Israeli occupying State with all of its agencies continues to commit war crimes against humanity in violation of the Rome Statute which qualifies torture as a war crime. On 1 July, Peace Now informed about the District Court of Jerusalem s rejection of the Sumarin family s appeal regarding the eviction lawsuit filed by a subsidiary company of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Peace Now reported that the Court ruled that the family failed to prove its rights to the property and should therefore vacate it in favour of the JNF by mid-August 2020. In their joint reaction Israeli NGOs including Peace Now, Rabbis for Human Rights, Oz ve-Shalom and Ir Amim stated that the eviction was based on the abuse of the Absentees Property Law enacted in 1950 to allow Israel to deal with hundreds of thousands of properties left by their Palestinian owners who became refugees during the 1948 War. On 1 July, Ir Amim published the paper Amendment 116 to the Planning and Building Law and the Palestinian Neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem . The report examines how the amended law which tightens enforcement and increases penalties for unlicensed construction disproportionately targets the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem because of existing obstacles to obtaining building permits (lack of infrastructure in Palestinian neighbourhoods, cumbersome land registration procedures and high municipal fees and levies). On 1 July, MIFTAH reported on a joint session with community representatives in Khan Younis, Gaza, as part of its European Union-funded project Youth as Human Rights Defenders . The project is part of an inclusive framework for building community partnerships to shed light on the violations against farmers and fishermen in Gaza. On 30 June, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) informed about the completion of a training course on Human Rights and Mechanisms to Promote the Right to Health to develop the capacity of health workers in Khan Younis, in the context of PCHR s 3-year project Promote, Respect and Fulfil the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in the Gaza Strip implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and funded by the European Union. On 28 June, HaMoked -- Centre for the Defence of the Individual issued a report on the Israeli Ministry of Interior s data about East Jerusalem Palestinians stripped of their permanent residency status in 2019 -- a higher number in comparison to the year before -- as part pf Israel s quiet deportation polity . HaMoked reiterated that the situation of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem was unlike that of any other permanent residents, as the area in question was annexed by Israel and the Israeli law must recognize that the residency rights of East Jerusalemites cannot expire even following a lengthy stay abroad or the acquisition of status in another country, nor be revoked on allegations of breach of allegiance. On 26 June, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights informed about a joint submission with a group of civil society organizations to the UN Special Procedures urging immediate access to health for Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip. In their urgent appeal, the organizations highlighted the cases of two Palestinian infants who died over the past week after being denied access to treatment and requested the intervention of UN human rights experts in urging the fulfilment of the right to health of Palestinians, in the context of Israel s prolonged closure of the Strip, by sending an urgent communication calling on Israel to immediately grant permits to Palestinian patients from Gaza to travel for treatment in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). On 26 June, BADIL -- Resource Centre for Palestinian Rights Residency, Union of Palestinian Women s Committees, Voice of Palestinian Students and others issued the joint statement Present-Day Israeli Annexation: The Culmination of Israeli Displacement, Colonization and Apartheid inviting the international community to place the Israeli annexation in a wider historic, political and legal context of the question of Palestine and to base any international intervention strategy on addressing the root causes of the conflict (described as colonization and an apartheid regime). The NGOs also underlined the importance, to achieve a political change, of unified and collective demands, movements and activities, from the grassroots and civil society level upwards to pressure governments into fulfilling their responsibilities towards all oppressed peoples and groups. On 24 June, Adalah -- The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel issued the report Challenging the Israeli Attorney General s Conception of Sovereignty: The Issue of Jurisdiction Concerning the Situation of Palestine Before the International Criminal Court . Adalah responded to the Israeli Attorney General s (AG) memorandum opposing the International Criminal Court s (ICC) exercise of jurisdiction regarding Palestine, dated 20 December 2019. In the report, Adalah seeks to expose the flaws in the AG s position that the ICC cannot exercise jurisdiction in this case and finds both that the AG s position is not in line with current developments in international legal practice and that it contradicts positions that the AG himself had put forward before the Israeli Supreme Court, as well as the Court caselaw. Europe On 30 June, the Lutheran World Federation, together with the World Council of Churches, the World Comm of Reformed Churches and the Action by Churches Together Alliance issued a joint statement calling for an end to the occupation and for a resumption of dialogue to build lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. The organizations pledged to continue working for peace in the Holy Land, insisting that peace can never be unilaterally imposed or achieved by violent means. On 29 June, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) addressed a letter to the President of the European Council, calling for the reconsideration of the Association Agreement between the EU and Israel. ECCP focused on the customs and free trade chapter of the Association Agreement because of the lack of transparency regarding the origin of products that will ensue once Israel takes the illegal settlements under its full sovereignty. North America On 1 July, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights reported on the open letter by progressive members of the US Congress, led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alongside Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal, Betty McCollum, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, and joined by eight other Members of Congress. The group released a Dear Colleague letter that commits to defund annexation policies deepening Israel s separate-and-unequal apartheid and to reduce military funding to Israel. In the letter, the Members of Congress invited Congress to move past the two-State solution, whose continuation while Israel continues to steal more Palestinian land on U.S. taxpayers dime only perpetuates the unjust status quo and introduce legislation to end the USD 3.8 billion annual US military aid. United Nations On 29 June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued a statement adding her voice to the wave of international and national calls on the Government of Israel not to proceed with its plans to illegally annex a swathe of the OPT, saying it would have a disastrous impact on human rights of Palestinians and across the region. The High Commissioner warned that illegal annexation would not change the obligations of Israel as occupying power towards the occupied population under international humanitarian or human rights law and will harm, instead, the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations. On 26 June, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territory Occupied Since 1967 Michael Lynk issued a statement on the role of the EU with regards to the looming Israeli annexation of parts of the Palestinian West Bank. He urged the EU to recognize and act upon the rising exigency to address the deteriorating human rights, humanitarian and political situation in the OPT, as the Israeli occupation continues to deepen. He detailed four issues of concern regarding the 53-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestine that he urged the EU to take decisive action on. These are annexation, Israeli settlements, Gaza blockade and the destruction of property, including EU-funded humanitarian aid. *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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