Ref: 44/2019

Date: 03 October 2019

On Wednesday, 02 October 2019, Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) received Mr. James Henin, Head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), and Neil Tobin, Head of the OHCHR in Gaza City.

Mr. Sourani welcomed the delegation and addressed the latest developments and Israeli procedures regarding the Gaza Strip residents, particularly in terms of the freedom of movement. They also discussed the situation of Palestinian detainees, who are exposed to torture in the Israeli prisons; as well as, the Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against the Great March of Return and accountability. During the meeting, they reviewed the issue of the database of companies involved in Israeli settlements in violation of the international law as well as the position of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Additionally, the internal Palestinian situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was discussed, especially the recent developments in Gaza following the latest explosions.

During the meeting, PCHR and OHCHR emphasized their long and close partnership, and their important role in supporting and advocating for human rights in Palestine.

OHCHR had organized a field tour of the Gaza Strip for a large number of international diplomats and representatives of international organizations and donor organizations, in order to examine the validity of the claims that Israeli forces employ excessive use of force against the Great March of Return. The diplomatic delegation’s visit was part of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT)’s Advocacy Working Group. Members of PCHR’s Legal Aid Unit, Basel al-Sourani, legal researcher, and Mohammed al-Alami, lawyer, accompanied the delegation and briefed them on issues of accountability pertaining to the Great March of Return and the results of Israeli investigations, asserting the bias of the Israeli judicial system and its disregard for Palestinians’ right to access justice. Additionally, PCHR’s team arranged a meeting for delegation with the family of the late paramedic, Razzan al-Najjar, who was killed while on duty in the Great March of Return encampment in eastern Khan Younis. The meeting was held at UNRWA clinic office in al-Buraij refugee camp, where many of the Great March of Return injuries are referred.