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Ref:
30/2014

 

Hamdi Shaqqura,
Deputy Director of the Palestinian Center of Human Rights (PCHR) for Program
Affairs, has concluded his visit to Germany, where he participated in an
international conference about the annexation wall on the 10th anniversary of
the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Legal
Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory. He also took part in a series of meetings with parliament members
and officials in the federal government during advocacy events organized by
partner German organizations.

 

On Monday, 07
July 2014, an international conference entitled “ICJ Advisory Opinion:
Towards Affective Application”
on the 10th anniversary of ICJ Advisory
Opinion was organized by MISEREOR and Brot fur die Welt, two of the biggest
development organizations in Germany and partners with PCHR and al-Haq
organization, in cooperation with Human Rights Center of Potsdam University.

 

Hamdi Shaqqura
and Sha’awan Jabarin, Director of Al-Haq Organization, presented worksheets
about the influence of the annexation wall, settlement activities and related
policies on the rights of the people of Palestine. Another session was
dedicated to discussing the expectations regarding Germany and the European
Union regarding the implementation of human rights and international law. Throughout
the conference, the importance of respecting international law was highlighted.
Furthermore, it was confirmed that the international silence encourages Israel
to further violate international laws and act above the law. In this context,
Shaqqura addressed Germany’s role as a High Contracting Partner of the Fourth
Geneva Convention in fulfilling its obligations and ensuring respect of the
convention. Therefore, Germany is legally bound to work, independently or
within the European Union (EU), to insure that Israel meets it obligations regarding
Palestinian civilians and their property under international law.

 

Shaqqura and
Jabarin participated in several meetings with parliament members and government
officials, in which they highlighted the human rights situation in the occupied
Palestinian territories (oPt). Many of those meetings were held while Israeli
forces were escalating collective punishment measures against the Palestinian
civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, those meetings coincided
with an unprecedented Israeli offensive on the West Bank. The meetings stressed
the importance of international intervention to stop Israeli war crimes and
Israeli forces and settlers violations of Palestinian civilians’ rights.

 

In the
Bundestag headquarters, several meetings with parliament members were held over
three days. The first meeting was held with Sibylle Pfwiffer, Member of
Parliament for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and head of the Parliamentary
working group of economic and developmental cooperation. A second meeting was
held with Anitie Groth, Member of Parliament for Dei Linke. The third meeting
was held with Dr. Simone Raatz and Gabriele Schmidt, from the parliamentary
working group of Arab nations. Another meeting was held with Omid Nouripour, Member
of Parliament for the Green Party and the foreign affairs spokesperson for the
party’s parliamentary block. Furthermore, a similar meeting was held with Achim
Post, Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party and member of the foreign
affairs committee. Additionally, a meeting was held with Dr. Karamba Daiby,
Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party and member of the human
rights and aid committee.

 

A special
meeting was held with the Middle East department in Brot fur die Welt
organization, which is one of the largest developmental organizations in
Germany, where the oPt is covered in the scope of its work . The meeting was
held in the organization’s headquarter in which the role of PCHR was introduced
and an in-depth discussion of the circumstances of the oPt, including the
influence of regional changes of the Arab world on the oPt, took place.  In the headquarters of the Department of Foreign
Affairs, another meeting was held with Christoph Strasser, the German Human
Rights’ commissioner. Moreover, a meeting was held with representatives of the
Middle East Unit in the department and their counterparts in Angela Merkel’s
office.

 

A meeting was
also held with Dr. Martin Dutzmann, Ambassador of the Protestant Church in
Germany for the European Union.

 

Furthermore,
the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights organized a discussion seminar
for the members of the center and lawyers from various countries. The seminar
addressed the status of human rights in the oPt and the legal intervention
procedures to protect human rights, with a detailed presentation of the recent
developments in the Israeli judiciary and the Palestinian civilians’ right to
justice.  Subsequently, another meeting
was held with the director of the center Folvnang Kalik to identify cooperation
opportunities in the inteenational judiciary.

 

Finally, a
meeting was held with Robert Grabosch and Katharina Heinzmann about the chances
of using German judiciary to legally peruse business, which violate human
rights of civilians in the oPt.