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Ref: 03/2018

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Lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), met with James Heenan, Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and Saber al-Nirab, from OHCHR in Gaza, at PCHR’s Head office in Gaza City.

Sourani welcomed the delegation and gave a detailed explanation of the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip, particularly the closure and its catastrophic impact on the freedom of movement of individuals and goods as well as the medical referrals to the West Bank and Israel for incurable cases.

Sourani also talked about targeting civilians either through killing or wounding them by the Israeli forces during peaceful demonstrations, which do not pose any threat or danger to the Israeli soldiers’ lives.

During the meeting, Sourani addressed the Palestinian reconciliation and its crisis which continues to stagnate, including the electricity crisis, medical referrals abroad, hospitals’ bad conditions, and deduction from the Palestinian Authority servants or putting them on retirement. He elaborated that this has led to accumulation of crises in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting briefed the human rights organizations’ most prominent activities at the International Criminal Court (ICC), adding that time has come for the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to refer the files to the ICC Judiciary to investigate with those suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sourani highlighted the challenges and threats which the Palestinian human rights organizations face, adding that some donors withdrew their funding for these organizations due to the latter’s prosecution of Israeli war criminals.

Sourani praised the high level of cooperation and networking between PCHR and OHCHR in Palestine and the latter’s distinctive and crucial role.