Third Palestinian Submission to the International Criminal Court on Gaza Closure

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, November 22, 2016


dsc_0068Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, and Issam Younis, Director of Al Mezan.

Palestinian human rights organizations (Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and Aldameer) held today, 22 November 2016, a press conference to announce presenting the third legal submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) titled as “Gaza Illegal Closure: Persecution and Other Inhumane Acts Committed against Civilians as a Crime Against Humanity“. The conference was held in PCHR’s head office based in Gaza City and was attended by a large number of journalists.

shawanShawan Jabareen, Director of Al-Haq, and Prosecutor of the ICC, Ms Fatou Bensouda.

Both of lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, and Issam Younis, Director of Al Mezan, delivered speeches during the conference while Shawan Jabareen, Director of Al-Haq, held a meeting in the Hague with Prosecutor of the ICC, Ms Fatou Bensouda, to deliver the legal submission on behalf of the Palestinian human rights organizations. It should be noted this is the third legal submission of its kind to the ICC by the Palestinian human rights organizations.

Continue reading

Update from Anees in Rafah

November 21, 2016

Dear Friends, 

Alsalam Alaykum, I hope my email finds you well.

I’m writing to keep you posted about the situation here at the moment, so I have good news and bad news, and I will start with the good news.

Good News: 
1. The Palestinian guy I mentioned in my previous update who was kidnapped while he was swimming in Rafah was finally released by the Egyptian authority.

2. My team has worked with another 300 Palestinian girls at the UNRWA school.

2. Our Children begin rebuilding the city of hope. It’s one of our activities with the children. 

3. Our Children begin practicing the play show. 

​4. Warm Clothes project: We have raised about 1370 of 1700 British Pounds to support the kids within a few days. Will keep you posted once we start to deliver those gifts for the kids. There is a chance for those who didn’t support the project yet to visit the link again at:

​Bad News: 
1. A Palestinian young man has been shot to death and 2 were injured by the Israelis in Gaza, I didn’t upload the picture to protect your feelings.

Continue reading

November 30, 2016
Living in Limbo: East Jerusalem Behind the Separation Wall

Wednesday, Nov. 30 Online
Livestreaming at The Jerusalem Fund
12:00 – 1:00 pm CST

A presentation by Moien Odeh, Attorney at Law and Visiting Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

This talk will focus on the East Jerusalem neighborhoods behind the separation barrier, where approximately 120,000 Palestinians reside but the Palestinian Authority is not permitted by Israel to operate.

Although located within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, these neighborhoods receive almost no service from the Israeli authorities: no garbage disposal, road construction or repair, or adequate water supply. This creates living conditions that would be unacceptable anywhere else.

These Palestinian neighborhoods present an extreme form of the problems for all Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Israel’s attitude toward Palestinians in the city.

More info:

Update November 29, 2016
The Gaza Kitchen with Laila El-Haddad in Madison

The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey is a cookbook and a documentary portrait of the Gaza Strip by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt, published by Just World Books.

The Crossing
1127 University Avenue
Madison [Map]

4:30 pm: Gaza, From Blogging to Cooking and Everything In Between
A Conversation with Laila El-Haddad based on topics raised in her book, Gaza Mom, led by Prof. Nevine El Nossery
6:00 pm: Laila’s Table, A Celebration of Palestinian Food and Culture
Reflections by Laila El-Haddad on her book The Gaza Kitchen, followed by a short cooking demonstration and a potluck social featuring samples of Palestinian food, including dishes inspired by recipes from the book. RSVP’s to dwallbaum at by Nov. 22 are encouraged for this part of the evening. Please bring a dish to pass if you can.  If you are interested in trying a recipe from the book, include that in your RSVP; we can either get you a recipe, or we do have books available for advance purchase ($30).

Laila El-Haddad is a talented blogger, political analyst, engaging public speaker, and parent-of-three from Gaza City. She is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between (2010); the co-editor of the anthology Gaza Unsilenced (2015); and co-author of The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey (2nd Ed. 2016). All three books will be available for sale and signing at both events. If you want to purchase a book in advance, please contact rafahsistercity at

Co-sponsored by: Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Middle East Studies Program; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; Students for Justice in Palestine-UW Madison; WUD Cuisine; and WUD Distinguished Lecture Series. Additional support provided by Friends of Sabeel-North America.

  • Laila El-Haddad
  • Continue reading

    Keep Gaza Children Warm

    Anees Mansour, gofundme, November 5, 2016 

    We are about to enter the winter season in Gaza. The houses can’t handle the weather as they are not insulated properly and we only get about eight hours of electricity a day. The conditions are extremely difficult.

    We’ve been working with children from some of the most marginalized communities for over a year now putting together summer camps and educational workshops which has resulted in terrific participation and results.

    But now we need to deal with the absolute basics: we just need to keep the children warm.

    Public response and support of our work has been tremendous in the past and we’ve raised enough money for many activities. So now we’re looking for help to provide warm Jackets to the children here in Rafah.

    Continue reading

    Why Israel Still Refuses to Choose

    It’s easier to leave Palestinians in limbo waiting for a “peace process” that goes nowhere

    ROGER COHEN, The New York Times, October 28, 2016

    One of the largest Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Maale Adumim, rising in the distance over the Palestinian village of Zaim (Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

    TEL AVIV — There is agreement on very little in the fractious Holy Land, but on one issue there is near unanimity these days: A two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more distant than ever, so unimaginable that it appears little more than an illusion sustained by lazy thinking, interest in the status quo or plain exhaustion.

    From Tel Aviv to Ramallah in the West Bank, from the largely Arab city of Nazareth to Jerusalem, I found virtually nobody on either side prepared to offer anything but a negative assessment of the two-state idea. Diagnoses ranged from moribund to clinically dead. Next year it will be a half-century since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began. More than 370,000 settlers now live there, excluding in East Jerusalem, up from about 249,000 in 2005. The incorporation of all the biblical Land of Israel has advanced too far, for too long, to be reversed now.

    Greater Israel is what Israelis know; the smaller Israel west of the Green Line that emerged from the 1947-49 war of independence is a fading memory. The right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with its contempt for Palestinians and dissenting voices in general, prefers things that way, as the steady expansion of settlements demonstrates. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, has lost the legitimacy, the cohesion and the will to do much about it. The cancellation of municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza that had been set for this month was another sign of paralyzing Palestinian infighting.

    Continue reading

    Update October 22, 2016
    Wisconsin Book Festival: The Way to the Spring

    C-SPAN video link:

    Wisconsin Book Festival

    The Way to the Spring - Ben Ehrenreich - <span class="date-display-single">10/22/2016 - 12:00pm</span>

    The Way to the Spring
    Ben Ehrenreich
    10/22/2016 – 12:00pm
    Central Library – Community Rooms 301 & 302

    Ben Ehrenreich first started reporting from the West Bank in 2011, on an assignment for Harper’s Magazine. He went back again for the New York Times the following year, which resulted in a powerful, much talked-about cover-story for the magazine. Palestine, it seemed, had gotten under Ehrenreich’s skin.

    Eventually he moved to Ramallah, and started writing what would become The Way to The Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. Ehrenreich was moved by the injustices that he witnessed, and by the general silence about them in most U.S. media. As well informed as he was on the Arab-Israeli conflict, he nonetheless was consistently shocked by what he saw, and by how little the vast majority of people in the U.S. (and even in Israel, just few miles away) understood about the lived realities of the occupation. He felt strongly that he wanted to write to break through those silences.

    Continue reading

    Free speech triumphs over pro-Israel bullies in US universities

    Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 20 October 2016

    Students constructed a mock wall on the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus to protest Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. (SAFE-UMich Facebook)

    Students have won major victories for free speech on US campuses lately as attempts by Israel lobby groups to suppress Palestine solidarity activism continue to fall flat.

    “Israel advocacy organizations driving the suppression cannot succeed in manufacturing facts, even if they try,”
    Liz Jackson, an attorney with the organization Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada.

    Last week, the president of the University of Michigan defended Palestine solidarity activism on campus after student organizers were attacked for holding a protest against Israeli policies on the same day as a Jewish holiday.

    Continue reading