The Director of the Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights Unit in the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Khalil
Shaheen, concluded his visit to Italy where he participated in a conference for
Palestine, upon the invitation of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), which was held in
the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) in Rome. In addition,
Shaheen conducted a number of meetings and activities with Italian associations
and solidarity organizations.
On the third day of the conference, Shaheen
presented a working paper titled "Advocacy under the Siege: Making Gaza Voices’ Heard." The working paper outlined the deterioration
of the economic and social conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the
illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip over the past 6 years. In the paper, Shaheed also explained PCHR’s
documentation, reporting and advocacy mechanisms for the rights of the civilian
population in the Gaza Strip. The
conference took place in the period 27 February – 1 March 2013. Shaheen also held a number of meetings with
representatives of international organizations as well as Arab organizations
participating in the conference.
On Saturday, 02 March 2013, Shaheen met in
Soupino area in the suburbs of Rome with Ms. Louisa Morantinee, former Deputy
Speaker of the European Parliament, and two groups of Italian solidarity
activists from an Italian peace advocacy association. Shaheen reviewed, in two separate meetings
over the course of two days, the human rights situation in the occupied
Palestinian territory (oPt), particularly in the Gaza Strip, including the
developments following the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. These meetings, which were attended by
approximately 80 solidarity activists, included open discussions.
On Saturday, 09 March 2013, Shaheen delivered a
speech in the Napoli Municipality Hall on the human rights situation in the
oPt, including the situation of civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, Rosa Schiano, an Italian human rights activist residing in the Gaza
Strip participated in the meeting, which was attended by approximately 70
persons. Additionally, Shaheen outlined
the situation of the Palestinian fishermen and the continuous Israeli
violations and attacks against them. He
also addressed the issue of Israel’s impunity and the lack of legal
accountability for Israel’s continuous war crimes committed against Palestinian
civilians in the oPt, especially during the latest Israeli offensive against
the Gaza Strip in November 2012.
Shaheen conducted as well a number of meetings
with various Italian solidarity activists, and made a number of presentations
in a number of social centers in Rome.
He also conducted a number of media interviews with Italian media that
revolved around the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip.