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Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action News - 13 January 2022

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Middle East

  • On 11 January, 7amleh released its seventh annual report "Hashtag Palestine," highlighting the violations of "digital rights" of Palestinians and pro-Palestinian advocates online, at the hands of the authorities as well as different social media companies in relation to the escalations and developments on the ground. The report informed that Palestinians face internal societal challenges as well such as hate speech and misleading news, impacting their activity in the digital space and digital participation.

  • On 11 and 12 January, several organizations including the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Haq and Addameer condemned the arrest of several students on the Birzeit University campus, considering this constitutes an attack on Palestinian unions and civil society organizations. According to reports from these organizations, Israeli Security Forces arrested several student representatives on 10 January as they attended a meeting of student unions.

  • On 11 January, Gisha published the report "Red Lines, Gray Lists -- Israel's dual-use policy and the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism", which informs that Israel considers thousands of items to be "dual-use," that is, civilian goods that could also be used for a military purpose, even though these items are not defined as dual-use according to international standards. Gisha further exposed the impact on Gaza's reconstruction of Israel's restrictions on the entry of construction materials, raw materials, chemicals, equipment, and spare parts into Gaza that are needed for industry, the health sector, and civilian infrastructure.

  • On 10 January, Addameer published a statement by the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) to express solidarity with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) after the Dutch government decided to end its funding for UAWC, following the designation by the Israeli authorities in October 2021 of this organization as a "terrorist organization". PNGO argues that the decision to end the funding came even though an external review of the organization concluded to UAWC's organizational independence and called for organizations to protest this decision.

  • On 6 January, Adalah published an article informing that Israel authorities refused to reveal all the evidence against the six Palestinian organizations designated as "terrorist organizations", while the Military Attorney, responding to a letter sent on 16 December 2021 by the organizations' legal teams said it would allow the groups to review only the unclassified information that underlies the bases of the designations. The article further informed that the deadline for submitting an appeal against the decision declaring them "unlawful associations" had been extended until 18 January 2022.

North America

  • On 24 January, the Center for Palestine Studies of Columbia University will hold an event to discuss with Kareem Rabie his new book "Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited: Capital and State Building in the West Bank". In this book, the author examines the impact of the 2008 first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy, reflecting the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. The author argued that these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine's subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel.

  • On 12 January, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) published the podcast "Gaza, Apartheid, and Challenging Israeli Impunity". In this episode of the series "Occupied Thoughts", FMEP discussed with Nuriya Oswald (International Advocacy Officer at Al Mezan Center for Human Rights) and Yael Stein (Director of Research for B'Tselem) about manifestations of what they consider to be Israel's apartheid regime with respect to the Gaza Strip, both in general and specifically in the context of the Great March of Return.

  • On 7 January, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) published a statement urging members of the US Congress not to cosponsor or vote for H. R. 2748 / S. 1061, the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021 which encourages the expansion of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. USCPR stressed that although the bill purports to advance regional cooperation, including in respect for human rights, technological innovation, healthcare, climate, and water scarcity, it actively ignores Israel's violations of Palestinian rights.

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.