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Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action News – 18 November 2021

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Middle East

  • In November 2021, B'Tselem published the report "State Business: Israel's misappropriation of land in the West Bank through settler violence". Using case studies, B'Tselem argued that the Israeli authorities have misappropriated land from Palestinian shepherding and farming communities in the West Bank through systemic, ongoing violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers living near them, with the full support of state authorities.

  • On 15 November, Peace Now informed that the Israeli Ministry of Housing has established a new settlement in the occupied West Bank near of the Ariel settlement without a public debate and government decision. According to the NGO, the construction phase of this new settlement started following the Ministry of Housing's decision on 24 October 2021 to issue tenders of housing units in several settlements, including 731 housing units in the settlement of Ariel. Peace Now claimed that this new settlement is separated from Ariel, and that it will block completely all the development potential of the Palestinian West Bank town of Salfit and its surroundings.

  • On 13 November, Al-Haq informed that the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), along with the Community Action Center/Al-Quds University and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, submitted an urgent appeal to six UN Special Rapporteurs urging them to pursue all measures at their disposal to stop Israel's plan to annex East Jerusalem through a land title settlement and registration plan.

  • On 11 November, 7amleh informed that 72 representatives from the Palestinian private sector -- including prominent Palestinian businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers -- sent an open letter to PayPal's CEO, Dan Schulman, calling on the company to expand its services to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

  • On 9 November, Al-Haq published the brief "Intersectional Oppression, the Aggravated Impacts of Climate Change on Palestinian Women". The CSO emphasized that Palestinian women, who hold a central productive, reproductive and community-managing role within Palestinian households, will be more strongly impacted by the adverse effects of climate change in terms of water shortages, agricultural severance, and resource exhaustion. The brief is part of a series on climate change, its adverse effects and the Israeli occupation, published in the context of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26.

  • On 8 November, 7amleh published a report "The Expansion of Digital Surveillance in Jerusalem and Impact on Palestinians Rights", which examines the impact of biometric monitoring and digital surveillance in East Jerusalem. The findings of the report demonstrate how intensified and increasingly high-tech surveillance has led to the erosion of civil and political rights for Palestinian residents of the city, constrained freedom of movement, impeded Palestinian residents' right to privacy and eroded Palestinians' freedom of expression on and offline.

  • On 8 November 2021, Al-Haq informed that the six Palestinian civil society organizations, designated as "terror organizations" by Israel, sent an urgent letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calling for its immediate intervention through the use of its good offices and its right to initiative to pressure Israel into rescinding its decision. AlHaq also informed that these organizations also sent a letter to UN Offices and Representatives calling for a continued international pressure in this regard.

Europe

  • On 11 November, the Norwegian Refugee Council published the article "10 things you should know about the evictions in East Jerusalem". The article presents background information on the situation of Palestinian families under risk of eviction in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

  • On 11 November, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine informed that the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Promote Palestinian Human Rights had held its second meeting and released a joint statement condemning the Israeli government for its decision to declare six Palestinians CSOs as "terrorist organizations". According to the article, this multi-partisan task force is composed of more than twenty legislators from ten European and North American countries. The meeting also featured a discussion with U.S. parliamentarian, Betty McCollum about her bill "Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act".

North America

  • On 19 November, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) & Project48 will organize the discussion "The Nakba and its Generational Impact on Palestinian lives: Memory, Identity, and a Future rooted in Justice." Survivors and their descendants will discuss with FMEP on their personal stories and trauma from the Nakba.

  • On 18 November, the Foundation for Middle East Peace is organizing a discussion on "Welcome to the Panopticon: Israel's Systematic Surveillance of Palestinians and the Implications for the World". Panellists from FMEP, Front Line Defenders, Access Now, Breaking the Silence, and 7amleh will discuss the implications of Israel's cyber-surveillance of Palestinians.

United Nations

  • On 29 November, the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at UN Headquarters in New York with a special session of the Committee, including high-level Member States representatives. Concurring events are also planned at the UN Offices at Geneva (UNOG), Nairobi (UNON) and Vienna (UNOV).

  • On 16 and 17 November, the United Nations Department for Global Communications organized the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. This annual event aimed to sensitize public opinion to the question of Palestine and promote a peaceful settlement to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People delivered opening remarks. Organized around two panel discussions, the two-day event took place online and brought together journalists, media experts, think tanks, diplomats and academics from across the region and beyond to discuss media related dynamics and trends connected to the IsraelPalestine conflict. In a video message to the opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres upheld the UN's support for a two-State solution to the conflict.

  • On 16 November, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a press release informing that dozens of nations participated in the international ministerial conference "Sustaining the Rights and Human Development of Palestinian Refugees". During this conference hosted by the foreign ministers of Jordan and Sweden, eight Member States announced a total of over USD 614 million in new or renewed multi-year agreements. UNRWA leadership also discussed their plans for modernizing the Agency, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged Member States to step up longer-term commitments to the agency.

  • On 11 November, the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process published a report for the meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee in Oslo on 17 November. The report highlights the urgency to address the continuing economic and fiscal crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian people. Given the severity of the crises endured so far in 2021, the report calls on the Governments of Israel and Palestine, and the international community to work in concert on an integrated response in the coming months to resolve this increasingly precarious situation.

*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.*