News Briefs

Al Mezan receives visits from international and diplomatic delegations in Gaza

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7 September 2023 |Reference 31/2023

On Monday, 4 September 2023, Issam Younis, Al Mezan’s General Director, met with a high-level delegation from the World Bank. The delegation included Stefan Emblad, the World Bank’s Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza, Meskerem Brhane, Catherine Tovey, Sana Nimer, and Dana Mubaied. The meeting was also joined by Ghassan Kasabreh, Director of the NGO Development Center, and Alaa Ghalayini. Younis gave an overview of the worsening humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, highlighting Israel’s 16-year closure and blockade, which amounts to a form of collective punishment, and its systematic damage to various sectors, especially economic infrastructure.

On Tuesday morning, 5 September 2023, Al Mezan received a visit from Anne-Lise Hennin, the Representative of Switzerland in Ramallah, to its headquarters in Gaza City. Al Mezan’s Director provided a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). He focused on several key issues, including Israel’s settler-colonial closure and blockade imposed for 16 years on the Gaza Strip, its de facto and de jure apartheid regime, and the international community’s failure to enforce accountability mechanisms and fulfill its moral and legal obligations towards the Palestinian people, and the impact of the internal Palestinian political division. Mr. Younis also emphasized the need for increased European action to address Israeli violations and ensure the unity of the Palestinian territories.

Later in the day, Mr. Younis met with a diplomatic delegation from the German Representative Office in Ramallah, including Mr. Christian Clages, the Political Attaché, and Mr. Irene Walker, the Cultural Attaché. During the meeting, Mr. Younis engaged in discussions concerning the humanitarian and human rights situation in the OPT and local Palestinian elections. Mr. Younis emphasized the urgent need to bring an end to Israel’s closure and blockade of Gaza, as well as to halt the continuous violations of Palestinian rights by Israeli authorities. He also stressed the significance of conducting both general and local elections as a crucial step towards resolving internal political division and achieving unity within the Palestinian territories and the overall Palestinian political system. Furthermore, he underscored the vital role of European support and intervention in upholding the principle of the rule of law and human rights, especially in relation to the conduct of Israeli forces in the OPT.