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German Minister of Justice visits the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

 

German Minister of Justice visits

the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Published @ 18:00 GMT (6 pm local time) 10 November 1996

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists, received Dr. Lore Maria Peschel-Gutzeit, German Minister of Justice, in a meeting this afternoon as part of her current tour of the region.

The Minister and her accompanying delegation met with Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, for almost two hours in a discussion about the recent events in the region and their implications for human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Mr. Sourani presented a detailed analysis of the measures of collective punishment implemented by Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people, including those measures related to the total closure of the Occupied Territories. Mr. Sourani added that the closure of the Occupied Territories has devastating effects on every aspect of Palestinian life and touches almost all sectors of the population. Noting that suicide bombings conducted by Palestinian groups have occurred during total closures, Mr. Sourani disputed the necessity of closures for Israeli security and questioned the relationship between denying Palestinian patients access to medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip and the protection of Israeli security.

Other issues discussed with the German delegation were settlements and land confiscation, actions which have occurred recently in Jerusalem, and Israeli redeployment from Hebron. The Minister also expressed interest in the status of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

Minister Peschel-Gutzeit inquired about the process of building a democratic society and the promotion of the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Mr. Sourani informed the Minister that the Palestinian people as a whole look forward to the development of democratic institutions in Palestine and that the Palestinian elections held in January 1996 contributed a great deal towards this process. He also emphasized the important role of the Palestinian Legislative Council in discussing and framing Palestinian basic laws, despite the legal and political obstacles they must contend with while conducting business under the restrictive measures imposed by Israel.

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