NGO ACTION NEWS
28 October 2011


Asia and the Pacific

Australians for Palestine on 18 October launched special edition greeting cards in support of the 9th annual “Week Against the Apartheid Wall,” observed from 9-16 November.

Europe

OneVoice on 17 October hosted a discussion at Chatham House with Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP and Senator George Mitchell on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the future of the two-State solution.

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) on 26 October issued a call to join the Third
Palestine Memorial Week from 16 – 23 January 2012. Events will be organized in partnership with other British organizations and Student Unions and will be held across British cities and universities.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

OneVoice Israel on 11 October brought top Israeli figures from across the political spectrum to engage the public in conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque Plaza. More than 500 participants joined 30 roundtable discussions ranging from the role of women in peace building to Israel’s relationship with Turkey.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on 13 October issued a press release, welcoming the prisoner swap deal between the Hamas movement and the Israeli Government, but expressing concern over the continued deterioration of prisoners' conditions inside the Israeli prisons. PCHR called upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli Government to release more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, who have been detained in the Israeli prisons so far, and to adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners 1955.

The Mossawa Center on 14 October launched a campaign calling on international actors to promote minority rights protection of the Arab Palestinian citizens in Israel as part of the peacebuilding process in the Middle East. Mossawa staff reached out to the United States, the European Union, and African decision-makers to ensure that Palestinian Arab minority rights will not be sacrificed in the international efforts to promote peace in the framework of a two-State solution.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Al-Haq on 17 October issued a joint press release, highlighting their concerns and condemning those aspects of the prisoner exchange deal that are at odds with international law. Specifically, they condemned the unlawful forcible transfers and deportations of protected persons, which constitute a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GC IV) and qualify as one of the most serious war crimes under customary international humanitarian law.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 20 – 26 October, found that Israeli forces conducted 58 incursions into Palestinian communities, abducting 13 and destroying Palestinian farmland for the ongoing construction of the Annexation Wall.

The Mossawa Center on 21 October hosted a conference on women and youth local grassroots initiatives. More than 200 women and youth gathered in Nazareth to discuss local initiatives developed as part of the Mossawa Center's Community and Educational Programme.

The Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) on 27 October hosted a seminar on the Arab Spring, Regional Developments and Impacts on Israel and Palestine.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on 24 October issued a press release expressing concern over Israeli bulldozing works to construct the separation wall and isolate the al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem.

Addameer on 27 October released its Quarterly Update on Palestinian Prisoners. It provides up-to-date statistics on prisoners and arrests, gives background on individual prisoner cases and summarizes the most relevant legal, UN and EU news, as well as Addameer's activities over the reporting period.

The Freedom Theatre – a theatre and cultural centre in Jenin refugee camp - on 18 October performed their newest piece "While Waiting" at Columbia University in New York. The play was inspired by Sammuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and is a premiere performance in the US.

Dalia Association initiated an advocacy campaign in the run-up to the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea, from 29 November – 1 December, to reform aid to Palestine. The campaign aims to raise awareness among Palestinians and internationals about Palestinian rights in the aid process and development effectiveness.

North America

The NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine on 18 October sent a letter to all UN Security Council Member States asking them to recommend Palestine for membership in the UN.

OneVoice youth leaders from Israel and Palestine toured Greater New York from 11 - 20 October to discuss the aftermath of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, the potential impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regional unrest.

The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on 4 November present a conference entitled “The Harvard Tree of Life Conference on Israel-Palestine.” The speakers will specifically address issues that young people living under occupation face and the ways students in particular can be activists and peacemakers through non-violent resistance, journalism, and education. The conference will be held in four additional locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The Canada Palestine Association on 19 November will organize an event in Vancouver to celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Global

GlobalGiving.org marked 19 October as the “Matching Grant Competition” day and issued a call for donations for the Rebuilding to Remain Campaign of the West Bank village of Al Aqaba. They pledged that any donations on that day, up to one thousand dollars, would be matched 30 per cent by GlobalGiving.org

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) along with the Mamilla Campaign and other groups on 20 October filed a petition, signed by 84 archaeologists and university professors on behalf of the Palestinian descendants of those buried in an ancient Muslim cemetery, the Mamilla Cemetery, in Jerusalem. The petition was filed with several international bodies and appeals plans by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to commence construction of a “Museum of Tolerance” on the site of one of the most historically renowned and ancient Muslim cemeteries in the world, Mamilla cemetery.

The International Crisis Group on 20 October posted a podcast entitled Hamas and Israel – The Prisoner Swap, featuring Robert Blecher, the Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project Director, who speaks about the timing and significance of this deal, and whether it will advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

United Nations

The Bureau of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued a statement on 13 October expressing grave concern at the situation of the Palestinian political prisoners who have joined the open-ended hunger strike. The Bureau expressed particular concern for the situation of vulnerable prisoners – women, children and the sick. The Bureau called on Israel to reverse its repressive measures and called on the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, as well as the ICRC and WHO to monitor and ensure Israeli compliance with international obligations.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on 13 October called for Israel to lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2006 once the prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas is completed.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 20 October issued a press release expressing concern over the well-being of Palestinian children living under occupation. Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the OPT, in a statement urged the Government of Israel to adopt guidelines for the protection of Palestinian children living under occupation who are arrested or detained, in line with international humanitarian and human rights standards.

The UN Security Council on 24 October held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question. Several Member States renewed their pleas for Palestine’s UN Membership, while Israel and the US were among those saying the move would be counterproductive.


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