Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Date: 27 April 2004
PCHR Hosts European Diplomatic Delegation
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights yesterday hosted a number of the Jerusalem-based diplomatic representatives of European governments in a delegation to the Gaza Strip. The delegation, headed by the Irish Representative in the capacity of current EU President, and comprised of Consul Generals, Representatives to the Palestinian Authority and Deputy Representatives, visited the Governorate of Gaza before being escorted on a short field visit to the Rafah refugee camp by the staff of the PCHR. During the field visit, the delegation saw the wide-scale destruction to civilian homes in the area of Rafah camp adjacent to the border with Egypt.
The delegation then returned to Gaza city for a briefing from Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, and a discussion regarding the current situation and the future of the Gaza Strip. Sourani warned the delegation that the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank would continue to deteriorate in the culture of impunity that has been afforded to Israel by the international community. Sourani expressed grave concerns regarding the consistent failure of EU states to take constructive action to ensure a halt to Israel’s violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the OPTs, including the abstention from voting to refer the issue of Israel’s Annexation Wall to the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion. Sourani further reminded the representatives of the legal responsibilities of their states as High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the OPTs and urged them to take immediate action in this regard.
PCHR also presented the members of the delegation with a memorandum which detailed the range of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes, perpetrated by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians in the OPTs. The memorandum also outlined the clear legal obligations of the EU states as High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and made a number of recommendations regarding possibilities for action in fulfillment of these obligations.
The memorandum is available to download from PCHR’s website at www.pchrgaza.org.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893