News Briefs

Al Mezan's Director Meets British Consul General and Other International Visitors

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12 November 2007 |Reference 33/2007

On Monday 12 November 2007, Mr.
Issam Younis, director of Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, met in Gaza City with the British Consul General in Jerusalem, Mr.
Richard Makepeace, Mss.
Nicola Palmer and Mr.
Neil Brisco, from the UK Department for International Development, and Mr.
Kamal Al Gharabawi, from the British Consulate General.
Younis briefed the delegation about the situation of Human Rights in the Gaza Strip and the devastating impacts of the continued closure and the collective punishment imposed by Israel on civilians in Gaza, which puts the population in jeopardy and affect all aspects of life in the Strip.
In especial, the humanitarian situation; including health conditions, has deteriorated to an unprecedented extent that endangers Gazans' wellbeing and welfare.
He also called for an urgent, effective intervention by the international community to exert pressure on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law by lifting its sanctions and re-open Gaza's crossings.
Younis emphasized the urgent need for observance and implementation of the applicable provisions of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the human rights standards.
On Sunday, 11 November 2007, Mr.
Younis received at the Center's office in Gaza City a delegation from Diakonia's Regional Office in Jerusalem.
The delegation encompassed Mr.
Christoffer Sjoholm, the regional representative, Ms.
Aida Alibegovic, information/communication consultant, Ms.
Grietje Baars, consultant Legal Adviser, and Joachim Ulfiel.
Al Mezan is working on the promotion of IHL in Gaza in partnership with Diakonia.
Younis and Al Mezan's staff briefed the visitors about the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip and the implications of the continued violations of IHL on the population; particularly the restrictions on the movement and access and other forms of collective punishment.
They also presented the repercussions of the frequent employment of disproportionate, indiscriminate force by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Gaza's civilians.
It was stressed that IHL; particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, of 1949, is applicable of, and must be effectively observed and implemented in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
On Thursday, 8 November 2007, Mr.
Younis met with Mr.
Fredrik Kirst, the Swedish Consul of Political Affairs in Jerusalem, and Ms.
Maja Sverdrup, advisor to EU special representative for the Middle East peace process.
He presented them with a an account of the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip and the exacerbating humanitarian crisis under continued closure.
Younis stressed the urgency of international intervention to bring to an end the collective punishment against the Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip.