23 December 2011

Asia and the Pacific

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Thailand on 27 December will organize a commemoration of the Israeli “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza which took place in 2008-2009.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) on 9 December announced that Baroness Morris took over from Lord Patten as their new President. Speaking at MAP's London office, Baroness Morris described how she "was really honoured to be asked to become MAP's President. MAP has a reputation that goes beyond London and the Palestinian territory...Britain has a moral obligation to the Palestinians.”

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) on 15 December held its first gala fundraising dinner in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, raising money to help Palestinian children.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section on 8 December posted Yesh Din's new report: “Alleged Investigation: The failure of investigations into offences committed by Israeli soldiers.” The report analyses the recurring failure of investigations of crimes allegedly committed by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on 9 December issued a press release condemning “the crime committed by Israeli Occupation Forces” on that day, in which three Israeli missiles killed a Palestinian civilian and his 10-year-old child in the Gaza Strip, and wounded 17 persons, including the civilian's three children, his wife and his mother. On 11 December, PCHR in a press release condemned Israeli missile fire on a vacant house in the Gaza Strip, which wounded two Palestinian children and their father in an adjacent house, one of a series of recent Israeli attacks against densely populated civilian areas.

The National Committee for Honouring Palestinian Volunteers, in cooperation with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), on 11 December celebrated the contribution of Palestinian volunteers in the presence of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Mayor of Nablus, the Governor of Nablus and the President of Al Najah National University, in addition to a large representation from the civil society. Fifteen committed, innovative individuals from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem were recognized.

Al Haq on 12 December issued a rejoinder to Gisha’s position paper entitled "Scale of Control." Al Haq stressed that Israel continued to bear responsibility as the Occupying Power in the Gaza Strip.

Addameer on 15 December issued a press release expressing concern about an Israeli wave of arrests since the first phase of a prisoner exchange, and on 19 December issued a press release analyzing the list of released prisoners.

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) on 19 December organized a field trip to Dkaika in the South Hebron hills for journalists, NGOs and consular officials to draw attention to the demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces, which displaced in 2011 double the number of Palestinians displaced in 2010.

B’Tselem on 21 December issued a press release entitled “The Authority Already Exists – What’s Needed Is a Willingness to Act” stating that Israeli soldiers in the OPT already had the legal authority to arrest violent Israeli settlers.

North America

OneVoice delegates on 12 December led a session at the fourth annual United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Qatar, taking the opportunity to present a united Israeli and Palestinian vision of the two-State solution.

The Foundation for Middle East Peace on 12 December issued its November-December “Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories.”

Americans for Peace Now on 22 December posted a holiday letter from Leonard Fein on their website.


A coalition of 20 international human rights and aid organizations on 12 December issued a statement saying that Israeli demolition of homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem displaced more than 1,000 Palestinians in 2011, double the previous year. "Since the beginning of the year more than 500 Palestinian homes, wells, rainwater harvesting cisterns, and other essential structures have been destroyed in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians. This is more than double the number of people displaced over the same period in 2010, and the highest figure since at least 2005," it added, citing United Nations figures.

United Nations

UN Women in cooperation with UN Agencies and civil society organizations, on 8 December brought together an audience of 1,000 people at the “2nd Central Festival to Combat Violence Against Women in the Gaza Strip.” Held at the Rashad Al-Shawwa Cultural Centre in Gaza City, the event’s main message was “Stand up! Speak out! End Violence Against Women.” The festival provided an opportunity for Gazans to take a joint stand for women’s human rights.

UNRWA on 8 December invited runners from around the world to join 2,000 children, including children with special needs, for the 2012 Gaza Marathon on 1 March 2012. UNRWA also suggests that supporters organize sister events in their own towns on the day of the marathon in Gaza.

UNRWA on 12 December issued a report saying that Palestinian refugees were the hardest hit in the West Bank. Despite modest economic good news in the West Bank, the rate of unemployment among refugees climbed to over 27 per cent, compared to some 21 per cent for non-refugees.

The Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 12 December issued a press release saying that the Secretary-General is deeply concerned about today’s reports of the Government of Israel’s decision to approve the construction of 40 houses and a farm near the settlement of Efrata near Bethlehem.

UNESCO on 13 December raised the Palestinian flag for the first time at its Paris headquarters as the UN agency marked Palestine’s admission as a full member.

UNRWA and the Republic of Korea on 15 December signed an agreement in Ramallah worth US$ 400,000 to upgrade schools in Gaza with new computers.

UNRWA on 15 December issued a press release saying that Brazil had announced a new pledge of US$ 7.5 million to the Agency, an unprecedented contribution from the Latin American country to UNRWA.

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Frank La Rue, on 18 December issued a statement at the conclusion of his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, commenting on the repression of peaceful demonstrations by the Israeli authorities.

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