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Palestinian human rights groups address UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

As non-governmental human rights organisations based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), we would like to express our appreciation for your mission to the OPT. The current reality in the OPT is one of gross and systematic violations of international human rights law, as well as serious and grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, amounting to war crimes. These exigencies give this visit, which we have long urged, exceptional significance. We hope that your visit and its follow-up will mark a renewed, substantive engagement by the UN on the issue of Palestinian human rights. 

Unexploded Ordnance Fact Sheet

There have been 23 reported fatalities and�145 reported injuries from all types of unexploded ordnance in Lebanon. �Of these totals, children 18 years old or younger accounted for six of the fatalities and�55 of the injuries, according to MACC-SL.� All the fatalities and most of the injuries resulted from cluster munitions. So far,�822 cluster bomb strike locations have been identified in the south. Approximately 85% of southern Lebanon has been assessed for cluster-bomb strikes. For each cluster-bomb strike, clearance personnel must verify an area totaling 196,000 square meters to locate (and eventually destroy) all unexploded bomblets. 

Wall creates Palestinian cultural divide

The young Palestinian women in the Jerusalem classroom become animated when the conversation turns to love. A few wear make-up and knee-length skirts, others wear the hijab - but all have something to say about how the wall that Israel calls its ‘security fence’ has diminished their chances of marriage. “I won’t marry a boy with a West Bank ID because we could not be together. He could not move to Jerusalem because the Israelis would not let him and I will not go to the West Bank because life is worse there,” said 18-year-old Elia Shami. The wall, which cuts through Jerusalem, has created a hierarchy of desirability based on the colour of the plastic Palestinian ID cards the youths carry, the girls told IRIN

Bedouin citizens of Israel denied water as means of transfer

On 18 November 2006, Adalah submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court of Israel against a ruling delivered by the Haifa District Court (sitting as a Water Tribunal) on 13 September 2006 that upheld prior decisions of the Water Commissioner not to provide water to hundreds of Palestinian Arab Bedouin families living in unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev). The Water Tribunal based its decision on the political issue of the “illegal” status of the unrecognized villages. Adalah argued in the appeal that the Water Commissioner’s decisions to deny the basic right to water to hundreds of families were based on improper and arbitrary considerations. 

Ali Abunimah discusses the potential for "One Country" in Palestine

EI’s Ali Abunimah appeared on Democracy Now!, interviewed by host Amy Goodman, on Tuesday, November 28, 2006. He was joined by Columbia University professor and author of the new book, “The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood,” Rashid Khalidi. These two leading Palestinian-American intellectuals discuss the current situation in Palestine, the role of US policy, and former President Jimmy Carter’s new book on Palestine. In addition, Abunimah and Khalidi discuss the history of colonialism and occupation, from the British to the present, in Palestine. 

Ali Abunimah speaks about "One Country" at the Palestine Center

According to Ali Abunimah, author of the recently released book One Country, the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has proven to be the least pragmatic and the least workable of all options. In his book, Abunimah proposes an alternative solution, one state shared by two peoples. During a 17 November 2006 Palestine Center briefing, he explains how he reached that conclusion and why his proposal for a one state is best for both people for geographical, economical and security reasons. He also discusses the experiences and lessons to be learned from South Africa and that in order to achieve peace in the region a unifying vision and justice for the Palestinians is needed. 

Let our people move

A little over a year ago, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn, Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz, the PA’s Muhammad Dahlan and the EU reached an agreement to allow Palestinians free movement in and out of the Gaza Strip. The Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) signed on November 15, 2005 promised Palestinians freedom of movement of people and goods. A detailed fact sheet published by the Palestinian Monitoring Group shows that since last year, none of the agreement’s provisions have been fully implemented by Israel. In July, seven Palestinians waiting to be let into Gaza from Egypt died as a result of heat and the absence of shelter. 

On International Day of Solidarity - Occupation is the Issue

On 29 November 2006, the international community observes the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Al-Haq takes this opportunity to emphasise that the root cause of the pervasive violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the OPT is the almost 40-year-old Israeli occupation. Both Israel and the international community have repeatedly failed to meet their international legal obligations with regard to the OPT. Consequently, the full realisation of the fundamental rights of Palestinians, including the right to self-determination, remains as distant as ever. 

Media conference criticizes discrimination against Arab media

The Mossawa Center has criticized the Israeli Cinema Council, large private companies, the government advertisement office, the Ministry of Transportation and the First and Second Broadcasting Authority for their discrimination against Arab media. This discrimination marginalizes Arab citizens and negatively affects their right to knowledge and their ability to express their needs and present them to the Arab and Jewish public. Insufficient allocation of advertising budgets to written and visual media, Internet, radio, television, cinema and even phone services has proved to be a method of further marginalizing Arab society. 

Ghettos form in shadow of the wall

Israel began building an eight-metre high, 703km-long concrete barrier through the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2002. To date, some 670km of it has been completed. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ruled that the barrier’s route, which weaves around the western border of the majority occupied territory was illegal under international humanitarian and human rights law, because it ‘gravely’ infringes on a number of rights of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Barely five kilometres separate holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where Christians believe that Jesus Christ was born.