Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action news – 16 January 2020

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Middle East

  • On 16 January, human rights organisations Gisha- Legal centre for Freedom of Movement, Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights issued a joint appeal to the Israeli authorities to demand an immediate stop to aerial herbicide spraying by Israel over Gaza’s perimeter fence, on account of the severe damage to crops and the health risks to Gaza residents.

  • On 14 January, Al Haq called on civil society organisations, human rights defenders, social movements, networks and groups from around the world to join its call for the release of the UN database of businesses engaged in activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

  • On 13 January, HaMoked – Centre for the Defence of the Individual sent a letter to the Israeli Police Commander of the Jerusalem District requesting the removal of concrete roadblocks from the access road of the city’s neighbourhood of Al-Issawiyah to allow free movement into and out of the neighbourhood. In its letter, HaMoked indicated that except for short intervals, the roadblock has been in place for the past 19 years, causing a severe and unreasonable harm to the locals’ well-being, daily routine and freedom of movement.

  • On 12 January, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemned Israel’s “manipulation of natural flow of water into the Gaza Strip” and demanded cessation of such a practice. Israel had opened dams and flooded crops in Gaza.

  • On 9 January, Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement published a new and updated map emphasizing the spatial dimensions of Israel’s ongoing control over Gaza, and the means by which Israel denies movement of people and goods. The map includes data and background on the crossing points with Israel and Egypt, the “fishing zone” enforced by Israel in Gaza’s territorial waters and the “buffer zone” it imposes along the barrier separating Gaza from Israel.


  • On 14 January, the European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a press release, following their visit to Al-Issawiya neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, stating that “[t]he European Union is concerned about the worrying developments and violence in Al-Issawiya […]. Israel has an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children.” The also referred to an “unprecedented increased presence of Israeli security forces since May 2019, with daily incursions – many of them taking place in the vicinity of schools.

North America

  • On 25 March, The Jerusalem Fund for Education & Community Development will host Brown University Research Associate Paul Kohlbry for the panel discussion “What Use is a Piece of Paper Against a Tank?: Palestinian Authority Land Titling and the Future of Territory in the West Bank”.

  • On 3 February, the Columbia University Centre for Palestine Studies co-director Brian Boyd will host Bard College Assistant Professor of Anthropology Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins to discuss her new book “Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine”.

  • On 13 January, Americans for Peace Now broadcasted a video featuring a conversation with Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch. Shakir talked about his recent deportation from Israel and about Human Rights Watch’s recent report “Born Without Civil Rights: Israel’s Use of Draconian Military orders to Repress Palestinians in the West Bank”.

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.