On Tuesday morning, 5 November 2019, the General Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Mr. Issam Younis, and Program Director, Mr. Samir Zaqout, welcomed Mr. Magnus Carlquist, Diakonia’s Country Manger and Mr. Joakim Wohlfeil, Policy Advisor on Conflict and Justice.
On Wednesday, 6 November 2019, Ms. Andrea Niklaus, Political Officer and Trade Officer for the Canadian Representative Office in Ramallah, visited Al Mezan and met with Mr. Issam Younis. Later that day, Al Mezan welcomed a delegation from Heinrich Böll Foundation, including Dr. Bettina Marx, head of Palestine and Jordan Office, Dr. Steffen Hagemann, Head of Israel Office , and Dr. Reham Alhelsi, Coordinator of Democracy & Human Rights Program.
The meetings discussed the deteriorating economic, humanitarian, and human rights situation in the Gaza Strip. They addressed the continued blockade’s serious consequences on different aspects of the civilian population daily life, and how it imposes serious restrictions on the freedom of movement of individuals and goods, especially patients who need access to treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Younis stressed that the Palestinian reconciliation remains the only solution to the Palestinian political division and thus concerted efforts must continue to support it in order to preserve the unity of the people and their just cause. He also asserted that Palestinian elections have become a necessity to renew political legitimacy by putting the vote back to the people to choose their representatives. Mr. Younis called on the international community to support the democratic process and Palestinian consensus, and to help create the atmosphere needed to exercise free and democratic elections, and stressed that the international community is required, now more than ever, to advocate for a peace process based on the international law.
The visiting delegations were also informed of the difficult conditions human rights institutions are experiencing as a result of Israeli restrictive measures imposed on their work to undermine their fundamental role of realizing the principle of accountability.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strives to convey as accurate a picture as possible of the hardship experience by the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip to visiting delegations. Al Mezan is constantly working to convey the victims’ voices to diplomats and politicians to urge for increased efforts to lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and to combat impunity so that the values of justice, freedom, and peace prevail.