Human Rights Committee PDF Print E-mail

Statement by the Palestine Academy Human Rights Committee

The HRC of PALAST,
June 1st, 2010
Palestine

The Human Rights Committee of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology was outraged by the Israeli naval commandos attack on the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid. The ships carried nearly 10,000 tons of aid and over 750 people from more than forty countries including respected politicians. They tried to break the illegal blockade on 1.5 million people. In violation of International law, Israeli forces attacked the Flotilla in international waters killing at least nine activists and injuring dozens of humanitarian activists. Condemnation of this attack was universal with the exception of a tepid response from a few governments.


The Israeli government justified the act by claiming activists attacked the Israeli commandos while descending from their helicopters. While a handful of the hundreds of unarmed activists did try to defend themselves from the attack, survivors clearly stated that the soldiers attacked with live ammunition well before this incident. But the Israeli propaganda to justify their actions should not change the facts that this was an illegal attack on flagged ships in International waters. They should also not take away the fact that Israel is imposing an illegal and immoral blockade on 1.5 million people on Gaza. This illegal siege and the attack on the ships demands from the International community to hold Israel accountable for these and many other cases of violating International law. The recommendations from the UN reports on the situation in Gaza (including the Goldstone report) must be implemented in full.


We call on the international community and in particular the academic and research institutions to condemn such unjustified illegal acts and to pressure their political leaders to act to put an end to the unjust blockade imposed by Israel and force Israel to comply with all other provisions of International law.

War on Gaza – Targeting the campuses of the Islamic University of Gaza – Statements
Statement of the Human Rights Committee of Palestine Academy for Science and Technology-29th December 2008

Update on the Israeli military aggression: Targeting Islamic University campuses in the Gaza Strip-

The Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip in the last 48 hours has left more than 300 people killed and 1000 injured in addition to a devastated infrastructure in an enclosed area of 360 square kilometers with a population density exceeding 4000 inhabitants/square kilometer. The people in such an enclosed entity are left with very minimal fuel, food and medications and yet such aggression is committed in front of the international community eyes. The F-16 jet fighters together with Israel’s other mighty war naval and ground machines have bombarded the Gaza Strip with tons of explosives that did not spare places of worship (mosques), hospital boundaries and other public buildings. Several hours ago, the campuses of the Islamic University were targeted by Israeli jet fighters and the reports mentioned the destruction of the student dormitories and other university buildings.

The Human Rights Committee of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology strongly condemn the Israeli aggression against the enclosed Gaza Strip and call on the international community and institutions to act swiftly to put an end to the Israeli military aggression.

Human Rights Committee of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
Palestine Academy for Science and Technology,
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Statement released From the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University-31 December 2008

A Statement Regarding the Situation in Gaza
The Bethlehem University community is deeply saddened over the events of the past several days in Gaza – and we are especially concerned for the hundreds of our graduates and their families residing there. On December 28th, Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to the violence in the Holy Land and asked the international community to do everything possible to help the Israelis and Palestinians find a solution to the current conflict. The Pope stated that he is “profoundly saddened by the deaths, the wounded, the material damage, the suffering, and the tears of the peoples [who are] victim to this tragic recurrence of attacks and reprisals.”
The extraordinary and disproportionate amount of bombing carried out by Israel and the vast number of innocent Palestinians dead and injured, not to mention the physical destruction wrought upon the already-oppressed people of Gaza, makes us cry to Heaven for an immediate ceasefire, that leads to a lasting peace built on justice.
Violence only begets violence, and no one wins. Such a cycle of conflict only brings deeper and more prolonged suffering to all those involved.
Our voices, and our prayers, join with Pope Benedict XVI and all people of good will who demand that this senseless violence end and that every effort be exhausted to resolve the underlying issues that led to this point.
The Bethlehem University community—Christians and Muslims—will gather together on 31 December 2008 to pray for the people of Gaza and for the wisdom and courage to bring forth justice that will lead to lasting peace.

Brother Robert Smith, FSC, PhD
Interim Vice Chancellor

Statement of the Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education (PEACE) program
The situation in Gaza
The last days of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 - a time of good tidings and joy for all and for hopes that the New Year will bring peace, good health, prosperity and freedom to all - saw the sudden worsening of the situation in the Gaza strip. For 18 days now, heavy bombing has resulted in more than 900 dead and thousands of injured victims, almost 30% of them are children. The bombing did not spare the buildings of the Islamic University in Gaza - one of the member - universities of PEACE.
We have received numerous messages from member universities and from academics, asking PEACE to react to the current situation. We are all deeply saddened by the dangerous course taken by events and share the feeling of “consternation” expressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon regarding the intolerable attacks faced by the people in Gaza. Our thoughts are with all the people of Gaza and in particular with the students, teachers and researchers of the three universities in Gaza.
We join the appeals of the international community for the immediate cessation of violence that brings about so much suffering and can only breed more violence. It is precisely at such moments when we see so much destruction and loss of life that we should not be overwhelmed by frustration and despair, and continue to hope that just PEACE will ultimately prevail in the troubled region.
The PEACE Programme Executive Bureau

Director-General of UNESCO discusses the situation in the Gaza strip and the plans for recovery

On Monday, January 26th, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, gave a live TV interview to Al Jazeera TV Channel regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Mr Matsuura reiterated his great distress at the civilian death toll witnessed during the crisis, and emphasized the need to secure a rapid access to basic goods and educational services for all children and youth in Gaza.

Mr Matsuura also strongly welcomed the proposal made by H.H. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, First Lady of Qatar and UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, to turn a certain number of schools and educational institutions into safety zones. “I have repeatedly pledged that schools should in no way be involved in military conflicts. This initiative gives us an opportunity to work on ways to protect students, educational personnel and places of learning in times of conflicts, now and in future. As requested by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO will work with UNRWA to explore the operationalization of this important initiative”.

The Director-General also emphasized UNESCO’s full and active engagement in the recovery process led by the United Nations, saying that “UNESCO, through its Ramallah Office, is participating both in the Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) and the Early Recovery Rapid Assessment (ERRA) process. We are making very concrete proposals in order to make education, culture and communication an integral part of the UN response to the Gaza crisis. These are crucial areas for promoting sustainable development, alleviating poverty and building social cohesion and peace. In this regard, I am confident that donors will support the Special Flash Appeal to be launched in Geneva on 2nd February next, especially those projects aimed at the provision of emergency educational services. Indeed, children and youth represent more than half of the population of Gaza. Getting them back into school can help them recover and bring back a sense of normalcy”, said Mr Matsuura.

The Director-General also announced that he would send a UNESCO high-level representative to the donors’ Conference, now foreseen in Cairo, Egypt, on 28 February 2009. “This will be the opportunity for UNESCO to present projects within the Early Recovery Strategic Framework (ERSF), covering a diverse range of the Organization’s fields of activity”, he added.

On 28 January, it was confirmed that a UNESCO Education Specialist would travel to Gaza on Sunday, 1 February as part of the Early Recovery Rapid Assessment (ERRA), in order to collect further data on the situation of secondary and higher education institutions. A UNESCO Culture specialist is also expected to be able to assess very soon the state of conservation of the cultural heritage in the Gaza strip.

Human Rights Committee of the Palestine Academy for
Science and Technology
HRC-PALAST
6 June 2007

On May 24th, the Israeli occupation soldiers detained Dr. Naser el-Deen al-Shaer, the cabinet minister of Education and Higher Education in the Palestinian unity government, from his house in Nablus city. This is the second time that Dr. al-Shaer is being detained by Israeli occupation forces. Along with Dr. al-Shaer and almost nine months ago Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker and Dr. Omar Abdel Raziq, former Minister of Finance and other PA officials and PLC elected members have been detained by Israeli occupying forces. Drs. Al-Shaer, Dweik and Abdel Raziq are university professors who have the full right to express their political views and participate in the Palestinian cabinet. They were elected in a democratic process as members of the Palestinian Legislative Council or in the PA government. It is unfortunate that Israeli occupation forces are violating human rights while part of the international community are practicing sanctions by freezing financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, hence maximizing poverty amongst the Palestinians, paralyzing essential development and hence leading to loss of any hope for better future and intensifying instability.

HRC strongly condemns the detentions of the Palestinian officials, PLC speaker and PLC elected members and the Israeli government’s threat to assassinate and detain other political leaders. The committee also condemns the total silence shown by the international community with regard to continual imposing the sanctions on the PA unity government and on the Palestinian people.
HRC:

  • Affirms that these detentions and threats are considered forms of arbitrary reprisal against Palestinian civilians and forms of collective punishment prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention;
  • Affirms that these detentions are part of a plan to undermine the democratically formed unity government and the elected PLC;
  • Affirms that Israel is intent on targeting the Palestinian unity government underlines the intention of Israel to continue to disregard and undermine the Palestinian leadership;
  • Calls on the International Community, institutions and personnel:

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To take immediate steps and request the Israeli government release of the detained Palestinian officials, PLC speaker and PLC members.

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To work on preventing further deterioration in the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by calling to an end of the sanctions and unfreezing financial aid to PA.

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It is no incident that today marks the 40 years anniversary of a long occupation to the Palestinian territories, hence we call on the international community to stand firm and calls for an end to this ugly occupation and for giving the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples a hope for a better future.

 
Arabic (العربية الموحدة)English (United Kingdom)

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