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Civil Society and The Question of Palestine - NGO Action News – 28 September 2018

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Middle East

  • On 26 September, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights issued a statement to mark the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, declared by the International Federation of Journalists in 1996. Al Mezan condemned the continued targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces while covering incidents and clashes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, noting that since the start of the “Great Return March” demonstrations in Gaza on 30 March, 130 violations have been perpetuated against Palestinian journalists.

  • On 23 September, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expressed concern about the excessive use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinian detainees, in violation of International Humanitarian Law. Al Mezan stated that detainees endured lengthy stays in solitary confinement without trial prompting some detainees to start open-ended hunger strikes and called on the international community to intervene and ensure protection and dignity of detainees. Europe

  • On 26 September, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) reported that the Labour Party conference in Liverpool had voted in support of a freeze on arms sales to Israel after debating a motion on Palestine for the first time in history. The unprecedented motion called for an “independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators”, an “immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza” and “a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel.”

United Nations

  • On 25 September the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process issued a report for the bi-meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) held in New York on 27 September. The report noted further deterioration in the overall humanitarian and economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in Gaza, with an unemployment rate of over 53%, a breakdown in service delivery, and increased violence and tensions. The situation was compounded by UNRWA’s unprecedented funding crisis, Hamas’ continued control of Gaza and its militant activity, as well as Israel’s continued closure regime. This was further exacerbated by internal Palestinian divisions and lack of progress on reconciliation.

  • On 26 September, the Middle East Quartet (the Russian Federation, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations) met on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York and discussed the prospects for peace negotiations and the situation on the ground, in particular in Gaza. The Quartet expressed deep concern over the continued escalation in Gaza and reiterated its support for United Nations efforts to prevent further escalation, empower the legitimate Palestinian authorities in Gaza, and address all humanitarian needs.

  • On 27 September, the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden, Turkey, Japan and Germany, as well as the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union, hosted a Ministerial Meeting in New York, to mobilize financial and political support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The event raised US$122 million, with Kuwait, the European Union, Germany, Norway, France, Belgium and Ireland announcing additional funding commitments to overcome the Agency’s US$ 186 million shortfall to sustain its operations.

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.