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Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action News – 25 November 2021

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Middle East

  • On 22 November, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a press release to mark World Children's Day, demanding an enhanced protection for Palestinian children. PCHR pointed out that the difficult conditions children endure in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been aggravated this year by a deterioration of the socio-economic situation and conflict-related trauma.

  • On 21 November, Al-Haq published the article "In the Aftermath of COP26: A Rights-Based Solution to Climate Change is Needed to Counter Israel's Greenwashing". The paper argues that Israel sent a strong delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) held from 31 October to 12 November 2021, positioning itself as a leading actor in tackling climate change whereas its environment-related policies and practices damage Palestinian lands and natural resources.

  • On 18 November, Gisha published the article "Gaza, near and far" describing how Israeli policies for permits to enter or exit Gaza separate the West Bank from Gaza, creating a divide especially when it comes to social connections and family relationships. Through a regime of restrictions and permits, the bureaucracy and daily practices of the Israel's authorities have impacted family communication, redefining family ties and how deep they run.

Europe

  • On 18 November, Amnesty International issued a press release following the publication of a report revealing that UK construction equipment JCB's agent in Israel has contracts for the maintenance of JCB's equipment with Israel's Ministry of Defence, including for the type of bulldozer known to be used in demolitions of Palestinian properties and the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Amnesty International called on JCB to take measures to prevent its diggers and other machinery from being used in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the destruction of Palestinian homes or the construction of Israel's network of illegal settlements.

North America

  • On 29 November, the Jerusalem Fund will organize an event to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Ms. Susan Power, who has been Head of Legal Research and Advocacy at Al-Haq, will participate in this event moderated by Mr. Said Arikat, a Member of the Palestine Center Committee.

  • On 29 November, Americans for Peace Now will organize a webinar featuring Congressman Andy Levin to discuss the significance of a legislation he recently introduced and intending to re-define the United States' role as a catalyst for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

  • On 22 November, Americans for Peace Now published a statement supporting a letter sent by Members of Congress to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging him to act to prevent the advancement of plans to build settlements in the E-1 area of the West Bank. The organizations considers that settlement constructions in this area would threaten the territorial contiguity necessary for a viable independent Palestinian state by dividing the north of the West Bank from the south, as well as the West Bank from East Jerusalem.

  • On 19 November, Jewish Voice for Peace published the article "Every Single Phone Call: What Israeli Spyware Reveals about the U.S.-Israel Alliance", arguing that Israeli private industry, military forces, police and settler organizations are working together in an entirely entwined system. The organization further stressed that Israeli authorities use sophisticated surveillance and monitoring technologies, involving Israeli spyware firms, to attack Palestinian human rights organizations and threaten human rights defenders with mass arrest in order to silence voices that document and report human rights abuses.

  • On 17 November, Human Rights Watch and Churches for Middle East Peace published a letter sent by several human rights organizations to US Senators urging them to support Senator Bernie Sanders' amendment to the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act to require a report on the humanitarian impact of severe restrictions on movement, access, and goods in and out of Gaza. This letter states that new solutions are needed to end Gaza's humanitarian crisis, and that this amendment creates more transparency and accountability regarding the humanitarian impact of the restrictions on Gaza and propose solutions to address the crisis, which will advance human security and safety for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

United Nations

  • On 7 December, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, will brief the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the human rights situation in the OPT. The event will be held in virtual format, from 9.30 to 10.30 am (NY time); the event will be livestreamed on UNTV.

  • On 7 December, the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convey the virtual event "Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations". The event will be held in virtual format, from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm (NY time); it will be livestreamed on UNTV.

  • 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 18 November, the Middle East Quartet Envoys issued a statement after meeting in person is Oslo, Norway following an important meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee addressing the Palestinian economic situation. Welcoming steps announced by Israel to reach out to the Palestinian Authority and to assist with the fiscal crisis, the Quartet Envoys remained deeply concerned by developments in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip and highlighted the urgency of the situation and the importance of taking constructive steps to advance a two-State solution. They further underscored the importance of respect for human rights and the actions of civil society groups.

*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.*