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PCHR Receives Head of OHCHR-OPT and Head of OHCHR-Gaza

Ref: 16/2010

  

This morning, 14 February 2010, the
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) received Eva Tomic, Head of the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian
territory (OHCHR-OPT), and Curt Goering, head of OHCHR-Gaza, in PCHR’s head
offices in Gaza City.




Tomic and Goering met with Raji
Sourani, Director of PCHR, who reviewed the deterioration of the human rights
situation in the Gaza Strip and highlighted a number of systematic Israeli
policies that prevent Palestinians’ enjoyment of many rights. Sourani also discussed
crimes committed by Israel in the West Bank, including land confiscation,
settlement activities and the creation of Bantustans.  He reiterated that such exceptional conditions
in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank require further efforts to be exerted by
OHCHR.

 

Sourani explained that PCHR had
previously criticized the weak role played by OHCHR, especially during the
latest offensive on the Gaza Strip.  During
this offensive, the High Commissioner of Human Rights did not make any
statements.  Although numerous human
rights organizations had invited him to visit the OPT and to closely inspect
the situation on the ground, he did not make any such visit.

 

During the meeting, PCHR renewed its
criticism of the UN’s acceptance of Israeli compensation payments for the
damage caused to UN facilities during the latest offensive on the Gaza Strip.  PCHR criticized also the position of the UN
Secretary General regarding reports submitted by Israel, as well as the
Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Ramallah, in response to the recommendations
of the Goldstone Report.  The PCHR Director
explained that the fact that no independent civil investigation committees in
accordance with the recommendations of the Goldstone Report were formed explicitly
indicates the failure of all parties to implement these recommendations.  This fact requires a strict and clearly
articulated position from the UN Secretary General.

 

Sourani further talked about the
restrictions imposed by Israel on the activities of international organizations
working in the OPT, including the recent refusal to issue work permits.  He stressed that these measures need to be
condemned.  He strongly urged OHCHR to extend
their areas of intervention to include focus on Israeli practices in East
Jerusalem, including efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority, house demolitions,
land confiscation and settlement activities.  Sourani concluded by stressing that it is
important not to sacrifice human rights for political considerations.  


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