Yesterday, 06 March 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received a number of delegations and representatives from international partner organizations in its head office in Gaza City. The meetings addressed local council elections, siege, human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the importance of international humanitarian law for the conflict.
PCHR received a delegation from the EU comprised of two political officers identified as Joris Van Winckle and Peter Mossop. The meeting addressed the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip and PCHR’s position towards elections. Sourani Suggested to cancel these elections if they were held in the West Bank as it would deepen the Palestinian political split. Sourani also called upon the relevant parties to simultaneously hold elections in the West Bank and Gaza strip, warning of the consequences of holding them without Gaza. Sourani further called for starting internal negotiations to consensually hold elections as soon as possible. He also discussed the catastrophic consequences of illegal and inhuman closure consecutively imposed for the 10th year on Gaza and considered as the greatest man-made disaster. Sourani urged the EU to take practical measures to stop this crime, which is considered as a crime against humanity. Sourani also talked about the four human rights organizations’ work on accountability, precisely the latest developments on the ICC submissions.
Raji Sourani welcomed Sharry lapp as the new director of the human rights secretariat, emphasizing the historical and distinctive link and ongoing support for Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations. Sourani added that the human rights secretariat is a reliable partner and discussed the possibility of mutual cooperation between PCHR and the secretariat in the future.
Sourani welcomed newly appointed Spanish Deputy Consul General Eduardo Narbonne. Sourani Discussed the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people in the OPT and Gaza Strip in particular. Sourani also thanked the Spanish government for the ongoing support for PCHR and highlighted the importance of applying the international humanitarian and human rights law in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
Sourani welcomed the new appointed ambassador and his diplomatic delegation. Sourani appreciated the ambassador’s role in facilitating the travel of 15 stuff members and lawyers to Cape Town by issuing visas to attend the Annual Bertha foundation convening for exchange of experiences with international lawyers who work in International humanitarian law. Sourani assured his refusal of holding the Palestinian elections only in the West Bank, considering it as one more step to deepening the political division. He also discussed the BDS campaign and latest developments regarding the ICC submissions. It should be mentioned that PCHR has always had strong links with the South Africa Representative Office to Ramallah.