On Tuesday, 27 March 2012, lawyer Raji Sourani,
Director of the Palestinian Center of Human Rights (PCHR), and Mr. Hamdi
Shaqqura, PCHR Deputy Director for Program Affairs, met with a Finnish
delegation. The delegation was comprised
of Dr. Martti Eirola, Representative of Finland to the Palestinian Authority;
Mika Routsalainen, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the
United Nations; and Dr. Olli Rouhomaki, Senior Advisor in the Department for
Development Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
PCHR’s representatives briefed the visitors on
the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in view
of the ongoing Israeli violations committed in the Gaza Strip and West
Bank. They particularly focused on the
closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and its impacts that deprive the Palestinian
civilians of their economic and social rights, in a form of collective
punishment against approximately 1.6 million Palestinians living in the Gaza
On the other hand, they addressed the situation
at the internal level, pointing out the impacts of the ongoing split and its
consequences that negatively affect the civilians’ rights and public liberties.
PCHR’s representatives also spoke about PCHR’s
work and different programs that have been implemented by the PCHR’s units in
the context of seeking remedy for victims of human rights violations, documenting
these violations, promoting human rights and raising awareness in this regard.
On the same day, Mr. Sourani met with Mr.
Ramesh Rajasingham, Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Mr. Hamada al-Bayari from OCHA – Gaza. The meeting was held in PCHR’s head office in
This meeting came in the context of the strong
relationship between PCHR and OCHA that started many years ago. It addressed the human rights situation in
oPt and the deterioration happening at the human rights level due to the
continued violations committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
In the meeting, PCHR’s representatives
reflected PCHR’s position rejecting targeting Palestinian and international
organizations by Israeli groups, in reference to the incitement campaign
launched by Israeli right-wing extremist organizations against the Agricultural
Work Committees Union (AWCU), in addition to targeting the Palestinian UN
employee, Kholod Badawi.
Additionally, they discussed the ways of
cooperation and coordination between PCHR and OCHA in the future.