Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Date: 16 October 2004
Time: 12:00 GMT
PCHR Receives delegation from Human Rights Watch and witnesses destruction in Jabalya Refugee Camp
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights received a four strong delegation from the organisation Human Rights Watch to Gaza City on the evening of the 15/10/2004.
The Director of PCHR, Raji Sourani, and PCHR staff met Kenneth Roth, Director of HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division, among others for an information and perspective sharing meeting.
HRW was visiting Gaza as part of a programme marking the release of their new report in Jerusalem on Monday the 18th of October. The report is entitled Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip. The report details the comprehensive destruction of homes and agricultural land in Rafah last May, during the so-called “operation rainbow”. The report illustrates the flawed public reasoning of the Israeli Occupation Forces and details a number of measures which the international community should take, including the full application of international humanitarian law in the OPT.
Today PCHR staff accompanied the HRW delegation on a mission to witness the destruction caused to one part of Jabalya Refugee Camp. The IOF ended their incursion in this area this morning but have remained stationed in the areas around Jabalya.
PCHR staff and the HRW delegation witnessed wanton destruction, including of homes, to a mosque, to schools. The delegation and the PCHR staff members spoke to many of the local residents, including those who had witnessed the events and many victims of this IOF incursion, the deadliest since the occupation of Gaza Strip and West Bank including east Jerusalem began thirty-seven years ago.
PCHR calls for the complete implementation of IHL by the High Contracting Parties, who have an obligation to “ensure respect”. Mindful of the UNRWA donor conference in Amman, PCHR also requests all international donors to the OPT to request repayment from the Israeli Authorities for the wanton and unlawful destruction caused by the IOF during their incursions into the OPT.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893