The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received today morning representatives from Palestinian human rights organizations and community-based organizations who met with a delegation from Human Rights Watch comprised of Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division, and her Deputy Director Eric Goldstein.
In the beginning of the meeting, lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, welcomed the delegation and then stressed the long-lasting ties between PCHR and Human Rights Organizations for over 20 years. Sourani displayed the human rights situation in Palestine especially as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory has been lasting for about half a century and the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip for about 10 years. Furthermore, Sourani explained PCHR’s work with international courts and preparations done in cooperation with other Palestinian human rights organizations to prosecute Israeli war criminals.
Representatives from women, human rights and medical organizations and NGOs made presentations on the catastrophic situation in their relative field of work and the challenges they face on daily basis. They underscored the importance of conjugating the all local and international efforts to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Whitson talked about the Human Rights Organization’s role on the international level and their future plans. She promised to exert more efforts to shed light on the catastrophic situation in the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip. Moreover, she appreciated the work and efforts made by the Palestinian community-based organizations, describing them as the lifeline that unveils to the whole world what is practiced against civilians in the oPt.
A delegation from Human Rights Watch had met with PCHR’s administration 2 days earlier, including Raji Sourani; Jaber Weshah, PCHR’s Deputy Director of Branch Offices; Hamdi Shaqoura, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Program Affairs; and Eyad al-Alami, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Legal Affairs.
During the meeting, they discussed the human rights situation in the oPt as well, the grave violations committed by Israeli forces against the civilians, in addition to the ongoing Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip and its impact on 1.8 Palestinian civilians.
PCHR’s representatives explained the latest updates relevant to PCHR’s efforts to prosecute the Israeli war criminals before the international courts. They called upon the international organizations to promote the prosecution of those committing human rights violations in the oPt and holding them accountable.