On 14 October 2009, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights (Al Mezan) hosted a meeting between a UNICEF delegation and Gazan human rights organizations, Al Mezan and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).
The actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow attended with UNICEF’s regional director, country director and other staff members.
Issam Younis, director of Al Mezan, welcomed the delegation, and provided an overview of the complexity of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), as a result of belligerent occupation, internal division and the failure of the international community to uphold its legal and moral obligations to protect Palestinian civilians and ensure the implementation of international law.
Younis stressed that the current siege on the Gaza Strip constitutes not only collective punishment, prohibited by international law, but a deliberate policy of de-development.
Jaber Wishah, deputy director of PCHR, highlighted the timeliness of the delegation’s visit one day ahead of the UN Human Rights Council session on the Goldstone Report.
He emphasized the importance of recalling that the occupation is the fundamental cause of the dire human rights situation in the oPt, from which other violations, including the siege on Gaza, emanate.
Wishah stressed also that sacrificing human rights for the peace process can never produce a sustainable and just peace.
Mahmoud Abu Rahma, communications and international coordinator at Al Mezan, underlined the importance of accountability in bringing an end to the serious international human rights and humanitarian law violations perpetrated against Palestinian civilians, highlighting how the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have acted with immunity in the oPt for decades.
In this regard, Mr.
Abu Rahma emphasized the importance of endorsing the Goldstone Report recommendations at the UN Human Rights Council session on 15 – 16 October 2009 and utilizing all available accountability mechanisms, including universal jurisdiction, to bring the perpetrators of serious international law violations to justice.
Mia Farrow thanked Al Mezan and PCHR for their presentations, and promised to carry their message, saying, “Gaza has become synonymous with suffering.
The international community can only feel shame.