The Palestinian Center for Human Rights hosted
a Swiss delegation from Meyrin-Palestine Association. The delegation consisted
of 6 members of the association who came to the Gaza Strip for a solidarity
The delegation met with Mr. Raji Sourani,
Director of PCHR, and discussed the human rights situation in the occupied
Palestinian Territories (oPt), especially in the aftermath of the latest
Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip (14th – 21st
PCHR organized and planned the delegation’s
visit and they were accompanied by PCHR’s Public Relations Officer in Khan
Younis, Abdel Halim Abu-Samra and Anwar Mattar. The visit included a field tour
of the Gaza Strip, where they examined the damages caused during the
aforementioned offensive and interviewed a number of victims and their
relatives. The delegation also visited the border area and met with a number of
Palestinian farmers who explained the difficulties they have to face due to the
Israeli forces’ attacks which prevent them from farming on their lands.
The delegation participated in the weekly
sit-in for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in front of the International
Committee of the Red Cross office where they expressed their solidarity with
the Palestinian prisoners and support for their just cause. They also visited
the Gaza Seaport, where they met with a number of fishermen and discussed the
difficulties they are subjected to at the sea by the Israeli forces.
The Palestinian Legislative Council was another
stop in the delegation’s itinerary, and they met with First Deputy Speaker of
the PLC, Mr. Ahmed Bahar, and PLC Member, Ismail al-Ashkar. The PLC Members
briefed the delegation on Israeli violations perpetrated against PLC Members,
especially related to arrests.
The delegation also participated in the opening
of the Palestinian Women Development Society in al-Buraij on Saturday, 29
December 2012, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports,
Dr. Mohammed al-Madhoun, and a group of other public figures.
During their visit, the delegation met with a
number of civil society activists, including: Dr. Iyad al-Saraj, Director of
the Gaza Community Mental Health Program; Mohsen Abu-Ramadan, Head of the NGO
Network in the Gaza Strip; Amjad al-Shawwa, Coordinator of the NGO Network in
Gaza; Khalil Abu-Shamala, Director of Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights
and Nadia Abu-Nahla, women’s rights activist.
They also visited the al-Awda Hospital in the
northern Gaza Strip, where the delegation met with Dr. Youssif al-Sowaity and
delivered to the hospital a collection of medical equipment and medicine which
they collected as donations. They also visited the Gaza Sporting Club, where a
member of the delegation, a professional boxer, delivered a lecture on boxing
before members of the Club.
It should be mentioned that PCHR and
Meryin-Palestine Association have good and friendly relations that go back for
years. The association involves a number of activists for the Palestinian cause
and the rights of the Palestinian people.