PCHR Receives Three Delegations and Briefs them on Human Rights Situation in oPt
Date: 22 April 2021
Lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), met with three international delegations and briefed them on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
On Thursday, 22 April 2021, Sourani met with Mr. Niko Fritscher, Head of Political Affairs at German Representative Office in Ramallah and Mrs. Basma S. Khatib, Press, Human Rights and Cultural Affairs Officer at the representative office, via Zoom.
Also on Thursday, Sourani held a meeting with Mr. Pierre Emmanuel, Humanitarian attaché at the French Consulate General in Jerusalem. During the meeting, Sourani commended the great relationship between PCHR and the French Consulate and pointed out that he received the 1996 “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” French Republic Award.
Yesterday, Sourani met with Ms. Tamara Alrifai, UNRWA Acting Director of External Relations Department.
The meetings discussed the human rights situation in the oPt, especially in the Gaza Strip, under the Israeli ongoing 15-year closure and its disastrous impact on Palestinian civilians, including the increase in poverty and unemployment rates, and the destruction of economic facilities. All of these challenges were amplified by to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the Gaza Strip, increasing the suffering of Gaza’s population particularly in light of the dire state of the healthcare system due to the Israeli closure.
During the meeting, Sourani tackled the legislative elections, which will be held in May 2021, and stressed the importance of holding the elections not only as part of the democratic process, but also for renewing the legitimacy of Palestinian leadership. The meeting also discussed the Israeli obstacles aiming to impede the elections in occupied East Jerusalem, including arresting candidates and banning election-related activities. Furthermore, Sournai presented PCHR’s preparations for the elections, including monitoring the Palestinian electoral process and training of 450 local observers, in cooperation with dozens of civil society organizations, to monitor the upcoming legislative elections.
During the meeting, Sourani addressed progress at the International Criminal Court, where he asserted that our bias lies with the rule of law and defense of victims and their dignity, which is a legal, moral, and humane obligation that PCHR honors towards Palestinian victims. He also commended the ICC Prosecutor and judges’ position in defiance of the American and Israeli threats by deciding to open an investigation against suspect perpetrations -senior Israeli military, security and political officers- of war crimes and crimes against humanity.