During the past two days, Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), held meetings with representatives of 3 international organizations. During the meetings, he addressed the human rights situation on the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967 and 10th anniversary of the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip.
Today afternoon, Sourani received Nathan Stock, Field Office Director of Carter Center in Ramallah and Jerusalem, while yesterday, he held a meeting with Katleen Maes, Head of the Gaza Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), accompanied with Hamadah al-Bayari, at PCHR’s head office in Gaza City. These meetings were preceded by a business dinner with James Heenan, Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), along with Tariq Mukheimar, Human Rights Officer in OHCHR Gaza office.
During the meetings, Sourani called upon the aforementioned organizations to jointly work on ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in order to end the ongoing 50-year suffering of Palestinians. Sourani emphasized that the illegal, immoral and inhumane closure should end as it constitutes a crime against humanity. He added that voices must be raised towards ending the suffering of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Sourani called upon the organizations’ representatives to employ their humanity and morals to work in this direction.
On the other hand, they discussed the visit of representatives from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to Jerusalem and how they were banned from visiting the largest crime scene, which is the Gaza Strip, and inspecting the aggravating impacts of the 2014 Israeli offensive along with the consequences of the ongoing closure imposed on Gaza.
During the meetings, Sourani briefed the organizations’ representatives on the latest activities relevant to the Palestinian human rights organizations whether on the level of meetings or presenting legal submissions to the ICC on Israeli alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 2014 offensive.
During the meeting with the Head of OHCHR in Palestine, they focused on that Zeid Ra’ad, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should keep his promise to visit the oPt on the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation.
During the meeting with Carter Center’s delegation, they discussed the local elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as Sourani underscored the elections would not be held soon according to his follow-up.
It should be noted that PCHR has distinctive ties with these organizations and holds meetings with them permanently to brief them on the human rights situation in the oPt.