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The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) during 2020

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date : 10 Jun 2021

The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) during 2020

The International Commission (ICSPR) was able to continue its march despite the difficult challenges, especially in light of the Corona pandemic, the continuing crimes of the occupation and the state of division, and the impact they left on the human rights situation, where the Commission and its staff were determined to continue working at the same pace as the first three years, preserving the human rights discourse that has exceeded the threshold of traditional human rights work, by employing the universal language of human rights in a template that preserves the privacy of the rights of the Palestinian people, which made it a reliable source of information for others.

In addition, ICSPR continued, in a professional manner, to provide a new language and style, through which it contributed to the revival of part of the international solidarity movement with the rights of the Palestinian people. Within this framework, ICSPR continued adopting the suffering of the victims, to be their voice, fighting for the rights of the Palestinian people in a way that does not contradict the human rights system and national law.

ICSPR has supported the contributions of others, and worked creatively to promote national ideas dedicated to confronting American decisions regarding the plan of the deal of the century; It contributed to exposing the crimes of the occupation by conveying letters to the concerned special rapporteurs, and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who accepted and recorded a detailed report sent by ICSPR regarding the Israeli crimes against peaceful demonstrators. ICSPR was also involved in the work of the National Commission committees, so it took its prominent place in the Legal and International Advocacy Committee, providing qualitative contributions, as well as field action by implementing dozens of youth initiatives in the Great Return Marches spread on the borders of the Gaza Strip.

The commission was also keen to employ the tools of international law and judiciary to urge the international community to reject Israeli violence and terrorism, and to seek to hold its officials accountable for the crimes committed against the Palestinian people in general and the protesters in particular. ICSPR also played a pioneering role in the Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the Great Return Marches by sending hundreds of letters to the international community, which contributed to forming an international public opinion opposing the Israeli measures, launching dozens of international appeals, monitoring Israeli violations, addressing the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and implemented legal activities such as the People’s Court and other activities in the field, published dozens of pictures of martyrs, and provided media coverage, and contributed to the formation of a significant work cell of a strong team that supports the marches in all languages ​​and refutes the false Israeli narrations.

During 2020, ICSPR has worked diligently in order to reach its planned outputs, as it has mastered the following:

  • Continued working with local and international partners and our network of ambassadors on international and local lobbying and advocacy campaigns, namely:
  • An international campaign to expose the results of the ongoing Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.
  • A campaign on collective punishments imposed on the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority, including issues of cutting salaries, and illegal deductions.
  • A campaign of solidarity with the prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons
  • A campaign for the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, a campaign on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a campaign to oppose the recent US decision and measures related to Jerusalem.

All campaigns included sending letters to international and regional organizations, to a number of special rapporteurs, the Council of Europe, and the Human Rights Council, ICSPR also organized, through its ambassadors, 4 protests, 90% of them in European countries, and the rest in Arab countries, and each campaign included a set of planned activities, among them were issuing press releases, sending letters to international bodies, issuing reports and papers, and publishing videos.

The International Commission (ICSPR) maintained its membership with the Arab Organization for Human Rights, and the membership of the National Consultative Body. It has also built strong relationships with a number of local and international networks and organizations. Moreover, it has invested its relationship and the relations of its Chairman and Board members to build participatory relations with international human rights bodies.

ICSPR was able to continue managing its branches and offices in both the West Bank and Lebanon, and working on opening a new office in Brussels.

During the reporting period, ICSPR published 268 statements, positions, news and press releases, among them are 137 press releases, 112 press lines, and 12 press statements. In addition to organizing 7 central press conferences, included declaring the positions of ICSPR on urgent issues. ICSPR’s conferences received wide media coverage by local and international media.

ICSPR published 2586 posts on its Facebook page, during 2020, the content of 902 of them were designed in either video or infographic format.

ICSPR continued to work on its media platforms, especially its page on Facebook, in a stable manner and contributed to exposing Israeli-Palestinian human rights violations, as the rate of interaction on the page reached 102 thousand (102 K) interactions with our page during 2020.

ICSPR’s staff was hosted nearly 145 times during 2020, 102 times via different satellite channels, and 43 times over the various local radio stations.

In 2020, it developed 20 international documents, 13 human rights and legal briefing notes, and 7 international letters; It also sent to about 158 ​​international and regional organizations and published on a large scale.

In 2020, ICSPR continued to share information with international and regional bodies regarding human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially the Gaza Strip, to the extent that it gained the confidence of many of these international and regional bodies, where ICSPR sent 20 international documents; 11 appeals and 9 reports; These documents were sent to 756 international and local organizations and individuals.

During the reporting period, ICSPR worked on developing and sending 9 letters and a special memorandum to local government authorities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

During the reporting period, ICSPR published 14 reports and research studies; 6 special reports and 8 Research studies, which gained widespread through the media, and also gained the attention of readers, where they were downloaded from ICSPR’s website about 3145 times.

Over the course of 2020, the ICSPR implemented 11 training programs;  one long-term program (the fourth and fifth versions of the legal researcher program); 9 short-term programs, which aimed at improving and building the capacities of 326 young men and women.

In 2020, ICSPR carried out 26 meetings, workshops and specialized training in which about 1,120 interested persons participated, of whom 52% were youth and 38% of public figures; 10% of the responsible and international personalities.

During the reporting period, ICSPR’s programs published 62 position papers, facts and policies; 31 factsheets; 29 policy analysis papers; and 3 position papers, some of which attracted the attention of local and international news agencies, and provided sufficient and comprehensive information on urgent and important issues, as well as expressing the legal opinion and position of ICSPR towards some current issues.

In 2020, ICSPR has been actively involved in managing or attending dozens of participatory activities with the local community; including organizing meetings with local government bodies (executive – legislative – judicial) and international bodies; with the aim of addressing complaints it received; and informing these bodies of the most common patterns of violations.

For the third year in a row, ICSPR has maintained the implementation of the Palestinian Child Parliament program, as it has implemented 5 main activities with the participation of 150 children and 22 teachers and trainees.

ICSPR received 42 complaints in 2020, 75% of them were from employees of the National Authority in Ramallah for cutting their monthly salaries without legal justification. The remaining 25% were related to violations committed by law enforcement in the Gaza Strip. 31 complaints were handled through addressing the violating authority (the government in Ramallah – the governing body in Gaza). ICSPR has received responses to 12 complaints from special rapporteurs and contractual committee, Inter-Parliamentary Union, which addressed ICSPR, confirming that the information obtained from the complaints that ICSPR submitted, constitutes a very important tributary, contributed to the issuance of a number of international decisions, declarations and follow-ups.

 

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Articles

Policies and tracks required to hold accountability on the Israeli occupation and to support Palestinian rights.

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Date: 16 Jun 2022


Policies and tracks required to hold accountability on the Israeli occupation and to support Palestinian rights.

By Dr/ Salah  AbdAlati

In light of the serious conditions that passed out and still passing the Palestinian cause, and the continuing successive Israeli  governments in the policy of aggression and the imposition of a fait accompli by continuing the blockade, attacks on the Gaza Strip, targeting civilians, the demolition of homes and facilities, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the expanding constructions  process of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem isolating , blocking and Judaize it along with the city of Bethlehem with settlements, Obliterating  landmarks, religious, historical, cultural features and  the Islamic –Christian Arabian identity, attempting to find a defect in the demographic composition, and the construction of the apartheid wall, torturing war prisoners.

Despite the fact that everything the occupation authorities do considered to be violations of human rights promoted  to the level of war crimes against humanity and contrary to the international humanitarian laws and rules, hitting the wall with the international legitimacy resolutions and the Human Rights and agreements – in light of all this, the United Nations are holding a historical responsibility towards the Palestinian people and their cause, as they  ratified the resolution 181, regarding the private division of the land of Palestine, which confirmed through dozens of resolutions of the various organs of the justice of the Palestinian people’s rights and legitimacy, thus, there is a responsibility lies on the United Nations toward the Palestinian people and their just cause, until finding a solution that ensures ending the Israeli occupation and enable the Palestinian people to get their Freedom and independence and the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees according to Resolution 194 , In the time we express a strong condemnation and anger for the continuation of deficit and the paralysis of the international community to fulfill its legal and moral commitments which require the protection of civilians, and stop war crimes committed by the occupation forces during a bias and flagrant plot of international and Arab silence,In spite of the disruption of the power balance, we renew our determination to work to isolate, boycott and account the occupation for his crimes to provide protection for Palestinian civilians, and that requires us to hasten to join all international organizations and conventions, and  adopting a comprehensive national strategy working on the formation of a national body comprising senior official parties and human rights organizations, to mobilize wider Arab and international coalition to ensure the prosecution of the occupation leaders and forcing them to Pay for their crimes, to maintain  justice and rights of victims, and to prevent them of committing new ones.

The restoration of the role of the international organizations and authorities to be active in the Palestinian cause, require restoration of the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization with activating its institutions, and announcing the failure of Oslo, and taking actions to adopt the approach based on rights and law, which will be devoted to a new equation based on not allowing the susceptibility of the national rights to be swapped, It also sends clear messages to all parties; that any negotiations to make peace must be referenced to rights, international law and the values of justice, equality and freedom for all. This track requires the Palestinian leadership adoption to support the conditions for success.

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Articles

ICSPR issues a paper entitled: “The Denial of Justice in Palestine”

the International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR)

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Num: 113/ 2021

Date: 26/12/2021

 

Press release,

 

ICSPR issues a paper entitled: “The Denial of Justice in Palestine”

Occupied Palestine/Gaza: The legal and human rights department of the International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) issued today, Wednesday, a paper entitled: “The Denial of Justice in Palestine.”

 

The paper aims to clarify the nature of the executive authority’s violation of justice in Palestine, and its denial of implementing the provisions of the Palestinian judiciary, which makes the victims’ last resort unavailable, especially in the absence of official and unofficial oversight bodies, contrary to the text of Article (106) of the Palestinian Basic Law, which stipulates that That: “Judicial rulings shall be implemented. Refraining from or obstructing the implementation of a judicial ruling in any manner whatsoever shall be considered a crime carrying a penalty of imprisonment or dismissal from position if the accused individual is a public official or assigned to public service. The aggrieved party may file a case directly to the competent court and the National Authority shall guarantee a fair remedy for him.

The paper also seeks to open the doors for researchers and activists to contribute to the development of solutions that would overcome the policies of denial of justice, implement judicial rulings in a way that achieves societal stability, and determine the path that must be taken to hold the perpetrators of this crime accountable, in a way that enhances the principles of separation of powers, the rule of law and respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens guaranteed by the texts of national and international laws and charters.

The paper addressed the independence of the Palestinian judiciary, and the most prominent obstacles facing the implementation of the rulings of the Palestinian judiciary, which were represented in the structural reasons related to the political elite, the weakness of official and popular oversight on the principle of legality and the rule of law, and the state of internal division and the division of the judiciary’s reference.

 

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The repercussions of delaying the disbursement of social development allocations.

The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights

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The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights

ICSPR

 

 Position Paper on:

 

The repercussions of delaying the disbursement of social development allocations.

 

By/ Rami Mohsen

 

Oct 2021

 

 

 

 Introduction:

The Ministry of Social Affairs was established under the first ministerial formation in July 1994, where its work is regulated by the Jordanian Ministry of Social Affairs Law No. (14) of 1956, which is the ministry responsible for social issues in the State of Palestine, such as addressing poverty, organizing charitable societies, and sponsoring and supporting the poor, weak and marginalized groups, comprehensive development, social security, improvement of the living conditions of the population, relief those affected by disasters and other social issues in Palestine, including managing the social protection sector and coordinating efforts with partners, providing protection and care services for children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities, and enhancing social cohesion by combating poverty, marginalization and social exclusion, and combating negative phenomena such as violence, homelessness, beggary and drug abuse[1].

According to the ministry’s website, it seeks to create a decent life in a cohesive Palestinian society by achieving sustainable human development through protection, care, prevention, empowerment and awareness programs, which are based on a rights-based approach, and in a manner that guarantees transparency and justice, in order to strengthen the resilience of citizens and maintain cohesion, solidarity and social protection[2].

In the context of achieving its goals, the Ministry of Social Development undertakes many services, including the cash transfer program, which aims to enhance the ability of beneficiary families to meet their basic needs, as it targets families that fall below the extreme poverty line, as well as marginalized families that fall between the national and extreme poverty lines, specifically, families that include people with disabilities, the elderly, orphans, people with chronic diseases, or families headed by females.

The aforementioned program – cash transfers – provides cash assistance to more than (115) thousand families, of which (74) thousand families are in the Gaza Strip and (41) thousand in the West Bank, at the rate of (4) financial payments annually, meaning one payment every (3 months) with a total of (134) million shekels for each payment, (536) million shekels annually. The Palestinian government’s contribution to each payment is estimated at more than (90) million shekels, while the European Union’s contribution to each payment is estimated at about (44) million shekels[3].

The share of the beneficiary families ranges between 750 to 1,800 shekels, according to the number of family members and their conditions, according to the social research process carried out by the Ministry of Social Development once every three months, but in light of facts and data, the disbursement process is often delayed under various pretexts, which increases the suffering of beneficiary families who are already living in tragic conditions.

The data indicate that the beneficiary families received the last cash payment on May 5, 2021, during which a unified amount of (750) shekels was disbursed to all families, while the previous payment was on December 24, 2020, contrary to the program’s philosophy that requires families to receive their cash allocations once every three months.

According to media statements by the Minister of Social Development, Ahmed Majdalani: until this moment, there is nothing new regarding the date of disbursing the allocations, explaining that the reason for the delay in disbursing the second payment is related to the financial crisis that the Palestinian government is suffering from, and that the European Union has not contributed since the beginning of this year[4].

In turn, the analyst and economic expert, “Osama Nofal”, expressed his astonishment at the government’s double-dealing with groups of the society, as when the salaries of employees in the public sector are delayed, it resorts to debt, but when it comes to social affairs allocations, it does nothing[5].

With regard to the administrative body for the defense of the rights of the beneficiaries of social affairs, it confirmed that the suffering of families has begun since 2017, due to the reduction of their entitlements from (4) to (3) payments annually, and in this year “2021”, only one unified payment was delivered of (750) shekels for all beneficiary families, and it called to regulate the disbursement of social affairs allocations on time[6].

Repercussions:

 

Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 25 also states: That: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family.

Article 22 of the Palestinian Basic Law and its amendments stipulate that: Social, health, disability and retirement insurance shall be regulated by law. Maintaining the welfare of families of martyrs, prisoners of war, the injured and the disabled is a duty that shall be regulated by law. The National Authority shall guarantee these persons education, health and social insurance. On the other hand, the accession of the State of Palestine to treaties and conventions gives it an international commitment to safeguarding the rights of its citizens, especially in the field of social and economic rights and protection from risks, in a manner that ensures an adequate standard of living.

The citizens’ enjoyment of the above-mentioned rights on the basis that they are guaranteed rights by the state would enhance the respect and dignity of the human, and develop a feeling of citizenship, especially since the link between the provision of a social security system based on securing an adequate standard of living and human rights in international conventions did not come from a vacuum. Respecting human beings and providing them with adequate aid when needed is a sincere expression of the state’s respect for the rights of its citizens.

The deduction and the delay in the disbursement of social affairs allocations to date, in light of the irrational justification of the concerned authorities, carries no explanation other than their disregard for the lives, dignity and feelings of the poor.

The deduction and the delay in the disbursement process have been accompanied by dangerous and catastrophic developments in the overall human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, which have caused a sharp deterioration in various aspects of life, especially in the Gaza Strip, which suffers from a suffocating and illegal Israeli siege for the fifteenth year in a row, the Israeli military aggression in May 2021 and the tightening of restrictions, and the widespread and systematic destruction of defenseless citizens’ private properties, public properties, vital facilities and the already fragile infrastructure.

The above challenges, in addition to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the precautionary measures accompanying it have left undesirable repercussions on various sectors, foremost of which is the economic sector, which is expressed in the growth of indicators of poverty and unemployment, and the food insecurity that 2/3 of the population of Gaza strip suffer[7], and now depriving the poor and needy of their financial allocations, which exacerbated the severity of the crisis and its consequences for them, and for the society as well.

Providing “financial allocations to beneficiaries on a regular basis, especially in these tragic circumstances, will contribute to improving the living conditions of poor families, and will enhance their ability to meet their basic needs, especially since the irregular payment has limited their ability to provide for their needs, at a time when the costs of daily life doubled, especially after the opening of schools and the decision to go to face-to-face education”[8].

Conclusion:

There is no doubt that the delay under the current circumstances may be indicative of indifference to the fate and life of this segment, which deserves attention and protection as a legal obligation on the shoulders of the concerned authorities in the country, especially since the justification “the lack of enough money in the public treasury” refuted by the realities of the situation in light of the system of management of public money, marred by corruption and a decline in governance, transparency and participation. For example, senior positions continue to be assigned through promotion, appointment and extension, without the slightest respect for the principle of equal opportunities, these senior positions include ambassadors, non-ministerial institutions, assistant agents, assistant attorney generals, judges, governors[9], and general managers, in addition to petty cash and burdensome budgets at the expense of the poor, and without taking into account their minimum rights to a decent life.

 Recommendations:

  1. Demanding the Palestinian government to expedite the payment of cash allocations to poor families in a retroactive manner, and to ensure that they are paid periodically and regularly in a way that preserves their inherent human dignity.
  2. Calling on the Palestinian government to review and evaluate its existing policies in the field of facing poverty and destitution, including the introduction of productive and effective policies, instead of the current policies to achieve the desired social development.
  3. Work to strengthen social justice, based on providing a decent life for citizens in general, and for the poor and needy in particular, including distributing the burdens of occupation on all citizens of the Palestinian people under occupation.
  4. Reconsidering the structure of the general budget of the Palestinian Authority, and the distribution of allocations to the various sectors, including giving greater attention to the social sector.
  5. The necessity of providing an opportunity for a societal discussion about the public budget before its approval, and the government respecting its commitments to the partnership approach with civil society, especially since the largest resource for the public budget in Palestine is the citizen himself[10].
  6. The need to raise national voices against corruption, nepotism, waste and embezzlement of public money, and to strengthen governance, transparency, equal opportunities, citizenship and equality, which will positively affect the rights of the poor and fragile social classes.

 

[1] State of Palestine, Council of Ministers, https://cutt.us/sbw2y

[2] Ministry’s website, https://cutt.us/Sz7Kh

[3] State of Palestine, Ministry of Social Development, https://cutt.us/px82x

[4] Sabq 24 news, Majdalani speaking to “Sabq24” about disbursing social affairs allocations, August 5, 2021, https://cutt.us/HHLmK

[5] Palestine online,  calling the authority to borrow to disburse social affairs allocations, July 31, 2021, https://cutt.us/CouHS

[6] Amad Media, Gaza: demands for regular social welfare payments to be paid on time, September 4, 2021, https://cutt.us/d3tNC

[7] United Nations website, May 19, 2021, https://cutt.us/cXvAP

[8] Press release: Al Mezan Center calls for expediting the disbursement of cash assistance to poor families, and warns of the repercussions of delaying it on their living conditions, August 24, 2021, https://cutt.us/mkBFf

[9] The Coalition for Integrity and Accountability (Aman), Annual Report (13), “The Reality of Integrity and Anti-Corruption, Palestine 2020”, p. 31.

[10] The Coalition for Integrity and Accountability (Aman), Citizens Budget, 2017, p. 20.

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