On Thursday, 31 October 2019, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights welcomed Ms. Katleen Maes, Senior EU Advocacy and Policy Advisor at the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Mr. Hozayfa Yazji, Gaza Area Manager. They were welcomed by Mr. Issam Younis, Al Mezan’s Director General, and Mr. Sari Aqel.
The meeting focused on the latest developments on the ground and the trends of violations monitored by the Center in the previous period. The Center's legal interventions were also discussed, particularly complaints filed to Israeli administrative bodies and joint petitions lodged before the Israeli Supreme Court to facilitate access to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip, as well as compensation cases brought before Israeli civil courts and the obstacles set by the Israeli legislature to deny Palestinian victims access to redress.
The discussion touched on the Palestinian division, its implications on the human rights situation, and the duality of legislation in the two parts of the country. General Director, Mr. Issam Younis presented his perspective for the upcoming period in light of the growing hopes for holding the first legislative elections in more than a decade. Mr. Younis asserted that the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, which is now in its thirteenth year, is the main reason behind the humanitarian crisis and the serious deterioration of the economic situation in the Strip, calling for concerted efforts to push for an end to the blockade policy instead of merely trying to address its effects.
The visiting delegation affirmed the close relationship between the Norwegian Refugee Council and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, hoping that there will be more cooperation between them in the near future.