On 19 September 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a field tour for a delegation from Trócaire to show them the remnants of houses and property destroyed by Israeli forces during the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza in Summer 2014. The delegation was comprised of Eoin Hamil, Program Officer in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel; Fintan Maher, Director of Public Engagement; and Selina Donnelly, Policy Officer.
The delegation was escorted during the tour by Khalil Shaheen, Director of PCHR’s Economic and Social Rights Unit; Mohammed Ghannam, a PCHR fieldworker; and Abdul Halim Abu Samrah, PCHR’s Public Relations’ Officer in Khan Yunis. They took them to Gaza Seaport, where the delegation met with a number of fishermen. The fishermen explained the nature of attacks carried out continuously against them, including the restrictions imposed on their access to the sea and the risks they face within the allowed fishing limits.
Additionally, the delegation headed to al-Shuja’iya neighborhood, east of Gaza City, and Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, which were the most areas exposed to destruction and attacks during the Summer offensive. They met with a number of the most affected victims, whose houses, farms and property were demolished. In addition, they listened to them explaining the details of their suffering in light of the obstruction of Gaza reconstruction process. PCHR’s escorting staff briefed the delegation on the public property that was destroyed during the offensive, including, schools and hospitals.
In the afternoon, PCHR had a business dinner with the visiting delegation. The dinner included each of Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director; Jabber Wishah, Deputy Director for Branches Affairs, and Hamdi Shaqqoura, Deputy Director for Program Affairs.
It should be mentioned that PCHR has had historic and distinctive ties with Trocaire, which is PCHR’s partner. Trocaire is also considered as one of the greatest Irish organizations not only in terms of funding but in exposing Israeli violations and war crimes against Palestinian civilians to parliamentarians and other influential bodies in Ireland and Europe in general.
Trocaire facilitated meetings for Raji Sourani in Northern Ireland. During these meetings, he delivered lectures on the human rights situation in Palestine in the Irish Parliament and Irish Bar Association, where he met with senior officials. Trocaire also organized a field tour for Sourani to the two divisions in Belfast, where he visited the Separation Wall, Martyrs Memorial and Mural of Struggler Bobby Sands.