Ref: 4/2012


In the past two days, the Palestinian Center
for Human Rights (PCHR) received two delegations from the Irish Representative
Office and Norwegian Reprehensive Office to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in
its head office in Gaza City.


On Tuesday, 17 January 2012, PCHR received a
delegation from the Norwegian Representative Office.  The delegation was comprised of: Erik
Berggrav, Second Secretary in the Representative Office; Petter Bauk; Tale
Kvalvaag and Ellen Svendsen.  Members of
the delegation met with Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, and Mr. Hamdi
Shaqqura, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Program Affairs.


The meeting addressed the human rights
situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), particularly the Gaza
Strip, under the ongoing Israeli-imposed closure and collective punishments
imposed on the Gaza Strip for years. 
During the meeting, Mr. Sourani and Shaqqura stressed the need for the
closure to be lifted, and to immediately take an action to end the resultant
suffering caused to the Palestinian civilians at all levels.


Additionally, the meeting tackled the
Palestinian internal situation.  Mr.
Sourani hoped that the efforts of reconciliation would be successful and that
the beginning of 2012 would be a real start for the Palestinian governance
institutions to restore their respect. 
Moreover, he hoped that serious action can be taken by the two parties
to the conflict to create an appropriate atmosphere for public elections that
would end a long period of internal division.


On Monday, 16 January 2012, Mr. Sourani also
received Ms. Fionnuala Callanan, Deputy Representative of Ireland to PA in Ramallah.


In the meeting, they reviewed the human rights
situation in oPt and the Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians, in
particular the ongoing Israeli closure. 
Mr. Sourani pointed to the destructive impact of the closure on all
aspect of life, especially, at the educational and health levels, in addition
to the destruction of the civilian infrastructure.  Mr. Sourani called upon the European Union to
assume its responsibility and take serious action to lift the closure.