Civil Society and the Question of Palestine – NGO Action News – 22 October 2020

  • On 20 October, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and others[3] issued a joint statement to urge Israel to allow the administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras, who has been on hunger strike since 27 July and reportedly is in danger of dying, to move to a West Bank hospital or to release him immediately before it is too late. The NGOs said that this case highlights the continued and excessive use of administrative detention in Israel – a procedure that allows the Israeli military commander to hold detainees indefinitely without revealing the allegations against them.
  • On 19 October, B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence[4] issued a press release to inform about the visit of representatives of 17 countries, including European Union members, to Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills, whose residents Israel is seeking to expel and who are awaiting a forthcoming ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice in the last petition in their decades-long struggle. The NGOs stated that they will not stay silent when soldiers are sent to expel people from their homes, “in which they lived long before the first Israeli soldier set foot in the West Bank.”
  • On 18 October, Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement[5] criticized the incursion of Israeli bulldozers into the Gaza Strip in order to raze vegetation, flatten roads and expose the terrain for “security reasons”. Gisha stated that the repeated ongoing harm inflicted by Israel to farmers’ livelihoods is “grave and must stop, especially during a global economic crisis, amid concerns over food security for Gaza’s residents.”
  • On 15 October, Physicians for Human Rights Israel[6] issued the press release “Medical Associations from Around the World Back our Demand to Ensure Medical Treatment for Gaza’s Children” to support the involvement of professional organizations in Israel and abroad for sending an essential message with respect to the role played by the medical community. Physicians for Human Rights explained that hundreds of patients from Gaza have had trouble accessing medical treatment as a combined result of the breakdown of coordination between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities and the tightened Israeli restrictions on exit permits.
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