29 November marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, declared by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1977 under Resolution 32/40 B. Forty-five years on, Israeli forces continue to oppress the Palestinian people and escalate their heinous crimes and violations against them—including willful killings, forcible transfers, home demolitions, ethnic cleansing ,arbitrary detention campaigns, administrative detention policy against detainees, and the expansion of the illegal settlement enterprise. Israel has also controlled the land and natural resources of the Palestinian people for more than 74 years. It denies Palestinians their right to self-determination and independence and prevents them from pursuing their economic and social growth and living with dignity and prosperity.
In the occupied Gaza Strip, Israel has been imposing a stringent blockade and closure for more than 15 years, during which it launched multiple large-scale military offensives, targeted civilians and their property, and severely damaged critical civilian infrastructure. Israel has also imposed maritime and land “buffer zones” on the Palestinian territory, which restrict both the movement of farmers to their farmlands next to the eastern and northern separation fence as well as the ability of fishermen to sail and access their livelihood. Palestinian patients are also bearing the brunt of the Israeli blockade as their access to urgent medical care outside the Gaza Strip is obstructed.
These policies, practices, and violations carried out by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) have exacerbated the already precarious economic, social, and cultural conditions and increased poverty and unemployment rates. On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Al Mezan warns of the severity of the existing humanitarian situation in the OPT and stresses that Israel’s ongoing impunity brings the Palestinians more hardship and encourages Israel to escalate its crimes. Therefore, Al Mezan reiterates its call for immediate action by the international community to stop Israel’s crimes and violations, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including apartheid, put pressure on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, and end Israel’s unlawful occupation of the OPT. Al Mezan further urges Third States Parties and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to honor their commitments, activate accountability, and immediately begin investigating and prosecuting those suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Al Mezan emphasizes that it is everyone’s moral obligation to show solidarity and support for the Palestinian people and to make this support a daily practice by putting pressure on their governments to assist the Palestinian people in getting access to justice and securing their right to return, self-determination, and the establishment of their own independent State.