This week's NGO Action News has just been published. The newsletter summarizes activities undertaken or planned by civil society organisations across the globe as well as UN action on the question of Palestine over the week. Please feel free to inform us about your activities and publications by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and to forward this newsletter to your supporters. We welcome your organization's contributions, questions or comments.
Division for Palestinian Rights
Department of Political Affairs
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Global· In response to an Israeli court ruling, providing that 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi remain in custody until the end of her trial, Amnesty International called for her immediate release while B’Tselem provided context and analysis. Addameer pointed out that the case of Ahed Tamimi was not an isolated incident. Rather, the number of Palestinian minors detained by the Israeli authorities had doubled during the last three years.Middle East· In its brief “Grapewashing the Occupation: The Case of the Chinese Hubey Pengdun Group”, published on 16 January, Al-Haq analysed the role of wineries in settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. In this context, the organization called on governments and companies to respect in relevant dealings principles of international law, including those reflected in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.· On 16 January, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized in Gaza a workshop on “Mechanisms to Protect Civilians and their Property in Land and Sea Border Areas” with the participation of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and its Head of Fishermen Committees.· On 15 January, Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement issued a new fact sheet, providing an overview of Israeli measures imposed in 2017 further limiting movement of people to and from Gaza via Erez Crossing.· On 8 January, a high-level Geneva Initiative delegation of Israeli Knesset Members and former security officials met in Ramallah with senior PA officials and civils society representatives to discuss recent political developments.· In his article “The One-State Reality of Constant Exception”, published in the December issue of the Conectas International Journal of Human Rights, Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, expressed concern about the shrinking space for Israeli civil society.· From 19 to 27 February, the Museum of the Palestinian People is organizing at the Manhattan College in New York the travelling exhibition“Bethlehem Beyond the Wall”. Spanning a time frame from 1880 to the present, the exhibition draws, among others, on photographs of Bethlehem taken by the American Colony Company between 1880 and 1945.· Under the theme “Jerusalem Lives”, the title of the inaugural exhibition at the new Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is hosting on 26 February a conversation about the role of the museum in the Palestinian community. The panellists invited are Reem Fadda, the curator of “Jerusalem Lives”, artist Emily Jacir and Beshara Doumani, Professor of Modern Middle East History at Brown University.· From 2 to 14 January, the Tree of Life Educational Fund organized an interfaith journey to Palestine and Israel under the theme “The Right of Return: 70 Years of Refugees in Palestine, Israel, and Beyond”.· Just World Educational, in cooperation with Al Quds University Community Action Center and Visualizing Palestine, started on 11 January a blog on Jerusalem.Europe· On 21 December, the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) released the policy paper “Occupation and Sovereignty: Renewing EU Policy in Israel-Palestine”, authored by ECFR policy fellow Hugh Lovatt.United Nations· On 22 January, actalliance, in partnership with other civil society organizations and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, is organizing at UNHQ in New York the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs, focusing on “Perspectives on Migration: Displacement and Marginalization, Inclusion and Justice”.· Following the US decision to withhold funding for the agency, UNRWA Commissioner Pierre Krähenbühl issued a statement on 17 January. Among others, he called on UN Member States to take a stand and join UNRWA in saying to Palestine Refugees that their rights and future matter.· OCHA noted that the reduction of funding to UNRWA was particularly worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the OPT in recent years. In order to ensure that the essential needs of the most vulnerable were met, OCHA stressed the need for decisions regarding humanitarian funding to be guided by the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.· To make up for the funding shortfall, UNRWA has also launched the global fundraising campaign “Palestine Refugees: Crisis Appeal”. Further details are available at https://www.unrwa.org/donate.