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Al Mezan and Diakonia Honor Trainers and Participants in the 'Promoting the International IHL and ESCR in Gaza' Project

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20 January 2010 |Reference 1/2010

  On Tuesday 19 January 2010, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights and Diakonia organized a special meeting to honor trainers and participants who participated in the 'Promotion of IHL and ESCR by Education in Gaza,' project, which was implemented by the Al Mezan Centre with support from Diakonia in 2008 and 2009.
About 120 persons attended the honor party.
Mahmoud Abu Rahma, the Communications and International Relations Coordinator at Al Mezan, opened the ceremony and welcomed the attendees.
He emphasized  the importance of enhancing the knowledge of Gaza’s lawyers and other groups in IHL, stressing that the continued Israeli  violation of the rules of IHL in the Gaza Strip necessitates that lawyers and other groups be enabled to use the protection IHL offers.
Abu Rahma thanked Diakonia for their significant support and constructive cooperation during the implementation of this project.
  Al Mezan’s director, Mr.
Issam Younis, expressed Al Mezan’s appreciation and regards to trainers for their efforts in the project.
He emphasized the importance of raising awareness of IHL and economic and social rights in the Palestinian community in Gaza, and of joining the effort to ensure respect for IHL and the protection of civilians under the conditions of occupation and conflict.
He also stressed the responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions and the international community to ensure such protection for Palestinian civilians.
Cristoffer Sjoholm, the Director at Diakonia Regional Office in Jerusalem, praised the cooperation between Al Mezan and Diakonia and thanked Al Mezan for its cooperation with Diakonia.
Sjoholm thanked Al Mezan for its efforts and its prominent role in monitoring and documenting the violations of IHL during the Israeli military operations last winter.
He stressed  the need to deal with the root causes of misery and poverty besides combating their direct impacts on civilians.
Sjoholm thanked all those who contributed to the successful implementation of the project.
He added that he hoped the European Union and international community would do more to bring to a just end the ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the humanitarian crisis Gaza lives now.
  Judge Zahir As-Saqa spoke on behalf of the trainers who took part in the project.
He thanked Al Mezan and Diakonia for the support and implementation of this project in Gaza.
He said the project targeted different Palestinian groups, but particularly lawyers, and has had many positive effects on their ability to challenge human rights and IHL violations.
He said that the activities of the project, including the awareness-raising materials and brochures were significant for lawyers and researchers.
Rami Mheesin spoke on behalf of the trainees.
He said he was one of  the students who participated in the Pass-the-Word program, which targets university students.
He thanked Al Mezan for its role in raising students’ awareness of IHL and human rights.
He described how many students and lawyers made use of the information and skills they received under the project; particularly by contributing the documentation of IHL violations in Gaza.
  At the end of the ceremony, certificates were handed to the trainers who worked hard with Al Mezan on implementing the project.
The trainers included practitioners from the ICRC, the ICHR, and Al Dameer Association for Human Rights; judges, academics and a forensic doctor.
  Al Mezan considers this project as a significant step towards promoting awareness on IHL in Gaza, but also building the community’s capacity to challenge IHL violations successfully.
Al Mezan intends to continue its work on IHL education and training in Gaza, which has become part of its core program.