Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights or Al Mezan (ميزان) is a non-governmental organization based in the Jabalia Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Its declared goals are: To promote and protect human rights in the OPT and especially in the Gaza Strip with a focus on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR); to work towards the realization of Palestinians’ individual and collective human rights, including the right to self-determination through the channels of international law; to enhance democracy and citizen participation in the OPT and press towards good governance that respects human rights.[1] The organization has a special consultative status in the United Nations.[2]

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
مركز الميزان لحقوق الانسان
TypeNon-profit
Location
Area served
Palestine
Key people
Kamal Al Sharafi (Chairman)
Talal Aukalk (Vice Chairman)
Issam Younis (Director General)
Websitehttp://www.mezan.org

Name

Mezan (ميزان) is Arabic for balance or scales, as well as justice and equity.

Activities

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights states it is dedicated to securing a permanent foundation for the protection of human rights in the Gaza Strip. Although it claims its long term aim is to foster development of full economic, social, and cultural rights, during the current heightened conflict between Israelis and Palestinians the Al Mezan Center has focused on what it alleges are accelerating violations of basic civil rights and human rights, primarily by the Israeli Defense Forces.

In the role of human rights monitor, the Al Mezan Center documents alleged human rights violations, such as disproportionate military attacks on civilian areas that result in widespread civilian casualties, the practice of imprisonment without trial, political assassination, and official policies condoning brutality and torture that undermine development of civil society. The Center also provides legal aid, advocacy, and capacity-building services and resources and conducts educational activities to raise awareness in the local community about basic human rights, democracy, and the importance of international humanitarian relief.

Funding

The organization's core donors are:

Individual project donors are:

  • Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • The French Consulate (funded the library in 2002-2003)
  • The Ford Foundation

Affiliations

The organization is a member of the following networks and committees:

  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR Network)
  • Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)
  • Coalition for Accountability and Integrity
  • Middle East and North Africa Network to Stop the Use of Children as soldiers
  • Habitat International Coalition - Housing and Land Rights Network
  • MENA Network to Stop the Proliferation and Misuse of Small Arms & Light Weapons

Reports of the center

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights issued a report about the Gaza Strip condemning Israel's violations against the fishermen in Gaza Sea. On 21 February 2017, Israeli naval forces opened gunfire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of Al Waha, North Gaza. As a consequence, one of the fishermen, Mohammed Bakr, was shot in the back; the five fishermen onboard were then withdrawn to an unknown location and their boat was confiscated. They are residents of Al-Shate' refugee camp and are identified as: Mohammed Omran Sabri Bakr, 23; Abdullah Sabri Bakr, 19; Mahmoud Sabri Bakr, 17; Omar Mohammed Najeeb Bakr, 25; and Thabet Mohammed Bakr, 21. But before detaining them for nearly 24 hours, the Israeli forces forced them to strip their clothes and jump into the water to swim to arrest at the navy vessel- though the weather is very cold. In spite of Mohammed's injury in his hand, he was forced to do as the others were doing. While they are onboard the navy vessel, Mohammed was handcuffed, blindfolded and struck with a rifle butt. As the report mentioned, the 1993 Oslo Accords declared that a permitted fishing zone for fishermen in Gaza reaches to 20 nautical miles (nm); however, it was reduced to 12 nm by 2002 and to six nm by 2006. During the recent years, it has sometimes been decreased to three nm since Gaza has been considered as an enemy entity for Israel. According to the report, since 2000, the Israeli forces have killed six fishermen, injured 115, detained 613 fishermen and seized 146 boats and pieces of equipment, which resulted in deterioration in the Palestinian fishing sector on addition to thousands of jobs linked to this sector. Within the fishermen's syndicate 3,600 fishermen are registered; but less than 1,500 of these fishermen are active within their profession so all their members have lived below the poverty line, as clarified in the report.

References

  1. ^ Al Mezan, Mission Statement Archived 2014-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed March 2014
  2. ^ OPT: Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights Granted UN Special Consultative Status. Al Mezan, 21 July 2010. On ReliefWeb

External links

2014 Israeli shelling of UNRWA Gaza shelters

The 2014 Israeli shelling of UNRWA Gaza shelters were seven shellings at UNRWA facilities in the Gaza Strip which took place between 21 July and 3 August 2014 during the Israeli-Gaza conflict. The incidents were the result of artillery, mortar or aerial missile fire which struck on or near the UNRWA facilities being used as shelters for Palestinians, and as a result at least 44 civilians, including 10 UN staff, died. During the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, many Palestinians fled their homes after warnings by Israel or due to air strikes or fighting in the area. An estimated 290,000 people (15% of Gaza's population) took shelter in UNRWA schools.

On three separate occasions, on 16 July, 22 July and on 29 July, UNRWA announced that rockets had been found in their schools. UNRWA denounced the groups responsible for "flagrant violations of the neutrality of its premises". All of these schools were vacant at the time when rockets were discovered; no rockets were found in any shelters which were shelled. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that "Hamas chooses where these battles are conducted and, despite Israel’s best efforts to prevent civilian casualties, Hamas is ultimately responsible for the tragic loss of civilian life. Specifically in the case of UN facilities, it is important to note the repeated abuse of UN facilities by Hamas, namely with at least three cases of munitions storage within such facilities."The attacks were condemned by members of the UN (UNRWA's parent organization) and other governments, such as the U.S., have expressed "extreme concern" over the safety of Palestinian civilians who "are not safe in UN-designated shelters." The Rafah shelling in particular was widely criticized, with Ban Ki-moon calling it a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and US State Department calling it "appalling" and "disgraceful". UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that both Hamas militants and Israel might have committed war crimes. A Human Rights Watch investigation into three of the incidents concluded that Israel committed war crimes because two of the shellings "did not appear to target a military objective or were otherwise indiscriminate", while the third Rafah shelling was "unlawfully disproportionate". On April 27, 2015, the United Nations released an inquiry which concluded that Israel was responsible for the deaths of at least 44 Palestinians who died in the shelling and 227 were injured.

2018 Gaza border protests

On 30 March 2018, a six-week campaign composed of a series of protests was launched at the Gaza Strip, near the Gaza-Israel border. Called by Palestinian organizers the Great March of Return (Arabic: مسیرة العودة الكبري‎), the protests demanded that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to the land they were displaced from in what is now Israel. They were also protesting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the moving of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Violence during the protests has resulted in the deadliest days of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War.The protests were initiated by independent activists, but has since been endorsed and supported by Hamas, as well as other major factions in Gaza. Originally planned to last from 30 March (Land Day) to 15 May (Nakba Day) but has continued well past that date. Five tent camps were set up 500 to 700 metres (1,600 to 2,300 ft) from the border and were to remain there throughout the campaign. In the first event on 30 March, thirty thousand Palestinians participated in the protest. Comparatively larger protests have been held on Fridays, 6 April, 13 April, 20 April, 27 April, 4 May, and 11 May—each of which involved at least 10,000 demonstrators—while smaller numbers attend activities during the week.Most of the demonstrators at the tent camps hundreds of metres from the border demonstrated peacefully, and Peter Cammack, a fellow with the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argued that the march indicated a new trend in Palestinian society and Hamas, with a shift away from violence towards non-violent forms of protest. Nevertheless, groups consisting mainly of young men did approach the border, rolling burning tires towards the fence to provide smoke screens, and also throwing stones and Molotov cocktails in the direction of Israeli troops. In April, Palestinian began launching kites bearing incendiary devices over the border fence, causing damage to property on the Israeli side. Israeli officials said the protests were used by Hamas as cover for launching attacks against Israel. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, admitted in an interview to Al Jazeera "when we talk about 'peaceful resistance', we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support."At least 110 Palestinians were killed between 30 March to 15 May, a number of whom have been members of various Palestinian militant organizations: an independent United Nations commission set the number of known militants killed at 29 out of the 183. Other sources claim a higher figure, of at least 40. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and live ammunition. According to Robert Mardini, head of Middle East for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), more than 13,000 Palestinians have been wounded (as of 19 June 2018), the majority severely, with some 1,400 struck by three to five bullets. No Israelis were physically harmed from 30 March to 12 May, until one Israeli soldier was reported as slightly wounded on 14 May, the day the protests peaked. The same day, 59 or 60 Palestinians were shot dead at twelve clash points along the border fence, Hamas claimed 50 of them as its militants, and Islamic Jihad claimed 3 of the 62 killed as members of its military wing. Some 35,000 Palestinians protested that day, with thousands approaching the fence.Israel's use of deadly force was condemned on 13 June 2018 in a United Nations General Assembly resolution. Condemnation has also been levied by human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, and Amnesty International, and by United Nations officials. Kuwait has proposed two United Nations Security Council statements, which have been blocked by the United States, calling for an investigation into Israel's killing of Palestinian protesters. The Israeli government has praised Israeli troops for protecting the border fence. Media coverage of the events, and what has been termed the "PR battle", has been the object of analysis and controversy. In late February 2019, a United Nations Human Rights Council's independent commission found that of 489 cases of Palestinian deaths or injuries analysed only two were possibly justified as responses to danger by Israeli security forces, deeming the rest illegal, and concluded with a recommendation calling on Israel to examine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity had been committed, and if so, to bring those responsible to trial.

ALQST

ALQST or Al Qst is a human rights organisation that documents and promotes human rights in Saudi Arabia, with a team in Saudi Arabia that researches cases and a team in London that publishes reports and news.

Children in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Children in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict refers to the impact of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict on minors in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Laurel Holliday, in her 1999 book Children of Israel/Palestine, writes that two "ethnically distinct peoples – both Palestinians and Israeli Jews – lay claim to the very same sand, stone, rivers, vegetation, seacoast, and mountains" and that the stories she presents show that "Israeli and Palestinian children grow up feeling that they are destined for conflict with their neighbors".Both the Israeli Defense Forces and militant Palestinian groups have been accused of violating the rights of children and causing injury and death. The media has been used manipulatively to create support for different sides. Children have been the victims of indoctrination, school closures, medical problems and post-traumatic stress as a result of the conflict. At the same time, various educational projects have been established to counter indoctrination and negative stereotypes. Joseph Massad has argued that the Western media are far more sensitive to the deaths of Jewish children than to child fatalities among Palestinians, while Sarah Honig argues the opposite position, that the international media tolerates murder of Jewish children and infants, particularly settler children.In late April 2015 Human Rights Watch asked the UN to put both Israel and Hamas on its "List of Shame" regarding grave violations of children's rights in a conflict.

Erez Crossing

The Erez Crossing (Hebrew: מעבר ארז‎, Arabic: معبر بيت حانون‎) is a border crossing on the Israel–Gaza barrier located at the northern end of the Gaza Strip, on the border with Israel. The Erez Crossing is the only land crossing for the movement of people between the Gaza Strip and Israel and the West Bank, as well as third countries when Rafah Crossing is closed. It is restricted to Palestinian residents under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and to Egyptian nationals or international aid officials. Israel only permits Palestinian residents to travel via Erez in “exceptional humanitarian cases," and exceptionally of students and sportsmen traveling abroad, and also merchants. The Erez Crossing is managed by the Israel Defense Forces, unlike the Karni Crossing and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which are managed by the Israel Airports Authority. The crossing has been affected by the Israeli Blockade of the Gaza Strip.

EuroMed Rights

EuroMed Rights, formerly the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN, French: Réseau euro-mediterranéen des droits de l'Homme) is a network of 80 human rights organisations, institutions and individuals based in 30 countries in Europe and the Mediterranean region. It was established in 1997 in response to the Barcelona Declaration, which led to the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The members of EuroMed Rights admit to universal human rights principles and are convinced of the value of cooperation and dialogue across and within borders. EuroMed Rights promotes networking, cooperation and development of partnerships between human rights NGOs, activists and a wider civil society.

European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights

The European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) is a Europe-based human rights organisation for documenting and promoting human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Fadel Shana'a

Fadel Shana'a (27 March 1984 – 16 April 2008) was a Palestinian journalist working as a cameraman for Reuters. He was killed, along with eight bystanders (aged 12 to 20) by a flechette shell fired by an Israeli tank in the Gaza Strip (the Al Bureij massacre).

Shana'a's video footage shows the tank firing and a glimpse of the incoming shell before going black at the moment of impact. The then Reuters Editor-in-chief David Schlesinger called for an investigation, as did Human Rights Watch, whose Middle East director stated, "Israeli soldiers did not make sure they were aiming at a military target before firing, and there is evidence suggesting they actually targeted the journalists." The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights denounced the killing as a deliberate war crime.The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released a statement saying "The IDF wishes to emphasize that unlike terrorist organizations, not only does it not deliberately target uninvolved civilians, it also uses means to avoid such incidents... Reports claiming the opposite are false and misleading." On 13 August 2008, it was reported that the IDF had closed an investigation into the death of Shana'a without taking disciplinary action against the tank crew that killed him. "In light of the reasonable conclusion reached by the tank crew and its superiors, that the characters were hostile and were carrying an object most likely to be a weapon, the decision to fire at the targets ... was sound", the then Chief Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit said in a letter sent to Reuters. David Schlesinger said that "I'm extremely disappointed that this report condones a disproportionate use of deadly force in a situation the army itself admitted had not been analysed clearly" and "They would appear to take the view that any raising of a camera into position could garner a deadly response". In a statement issued at its London headquarters, Reuters said the army probe could effectively give soldiers a "free hand to kill," without being sure of the identity of their targets.Thousands attended the funeral of Shana'a in Gaza.

Human shield

Human shield is a military and political term describing the deliberate placement of non-combatants in or around combat targets to deter the enemy from attacking these combat targets. It may also refer to the use of persons to literally shield combatants during attacks, by forcing them to march in front of the combatants.

Using this tactic is considered a war crime by nations that are parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, and the 1998 Rome Statute.

Israeli raid on Beit Hanoun (2004)

The Raid on Beit Hanoun of 2004 or "Operation Forward Shield" was a 37 days long invasion and siege of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza by the Israeli army, from 29 June to 5 August 2004. The stated goal was to prevent future rocket attacks from Gaza following the deaths of two residents of the Israeli town of Sderot on 28 June.19 or 20 Palestinians were killed, including 6 children, and about 70 houses were destroyed.

List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, 2002–06

The following is a partial list of Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel between 2002 and 2006. These attacks commenced in April 2001, although the first rocket to hit an Israeli city was on 5 March 2002, and the first Israeli fatality was 28 June 2004.

List of human rights articles by country

This is a list of human rights articles by country.

List of human rights organisations

The list is incomplete; please add known articles or create missing onesThe following is a list of articles on the human rights organisations of the world. It does not include political parties, or academic institutions. The list includes both secular and religious organizations.

Operation Days of Penitence

Operation "Days of Penitence" (Hebrew: מבצע ימי תשובה), otherwise known as Operation "Days of Repentance" was the name used by Israel to describe an Israel Defense Forces invasion of the northern Gaza Strip conducted between 29 September and 16 October 2004. About 130 Palestinians, and 1 Israeli were killed.The operation, focused on the town of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia and Jabalia refugee camps, which were said to have been used as launching sites of Qassam rockets on the Israeli town of Sderot and Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, and in particular in response to the death of two children in Sderot.

The operation's name corresponds to the Hebrew name for the High Holiday season during which the operation was carried out.

Operation Rainbow

Operation Rainbow (Hebrew: Mivtza Keshet Be-Anan, מבצע קשת בענן) was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military operation in the southern Gaza Strip from 12–24 May 2004, involving an invasion and siege of Rafah. The operation was started after the deaths of eleven Israeli soldiers in two Palestinian attacks, in which M113 armored vehicles were attacked.Human Rights Watch reported 59 Palestinians killed from 12–24 May, including 11 under age eighteen and 18 armed men. The IDF razed some 300 homes to expand the buffer zone along the Gaza–Egypt border, expanding it far inside the Gaza Strip. Also a zoo and at least 700 dunams (70 ha) of agricultural land were destroyed.

Israel's declared aims of Operation Rainbow were finding and destroying smuggling tunnels, targeting terrorists, and securing the Philadelphi Route by expanding the buffer zone.

Outline of the State of Palestine

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the State of Palestine:

Palestine- country in the middle east, is politically under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian government and the Hamas Government in Gaza. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988 and the consequent admission into UN as an observer state in 2012, Palestine is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries. Its claimed capital is East Jerusalem, although Ramallah is its internationally recognised capital. Although recently promoted to a non-member state status in the UN, the State of Palestine does not exert full control of its territory and has historically turbulent relations with Israel and much of the west.

Palestinian Security Services

The Palestinian Security Services (PSS) are the armed forces and intelligence agencies of the State of Palestine. They comprise several institutions, notably the Security Forces and the Police. The President of the Palestinian National Authority is Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian Forces.

Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association

The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) (Arabic: جمعية الحقوق المدنية والسياسية في السعودية‎) is a Saudi Arabian human rights non-governmental organisation created in 2009. On 9 March 2013, the Saudi court sentenced two of its prominent leaders to at least 10 years in prison for "offences that included sedition and giving inaccurate information to foreign media", while dissolving the group. The association is also known in Arabic by its acronym HASEM.

Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research

Tami Steinmetz Center For Peace Research is an academic research institution of Tel Aviv University which surveys public opinion regarding the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

The center publishes monthly surveys about the current state of public opinion. It is most famous for the "Peace Index", a numerical measure of Israeli public support for the peace process. The Peace Index is divided into 4 sub-indices:

General Peace Index

Oslo Index

Syrian Index

Negotiation IndexEach index is computed according to the number and percent of supporters for each peace negotiation and the number of people believing that the negotiation will actually achieve peace.

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