Irish Solidarity Delegation Concludes its Visit to Palestine. January 24, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Israel, Palestine.
Irish Solidarity Delegation Concludes its Visit; PCHR Honours the Delegation and Other International Solidarity Activists
Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:00
The Irish delegation, hosted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), concluded its visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday, 18th January 2013. The delegation conducted a number of meetings and field activities during its visit. PCHR honoured the members of the delegation, as well as other international activists working in the Gaza Strip for their role in supporting the rights of the Palestinian people.
The 9 member Irish delegation from Irish civil society organizations and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday 14th January 2013. They held a number of meetings with Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR; Mr. Jaber Weshah, Deputy Director for PCHR Branch Affairs; Mr. Khalil Shaheen, Head of Economic and Social Rights Unit; and Ms. Lydia de Leeuw, Head of International Unit. Mr. Sourani discussed the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), especially in the aftermath of the latest Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip and the admission of Palestine as a non-member observer State in the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Sourani also discussed the ongoing Israeli violation of the rights of the Palestinian civilians, particularly with the continued total closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and its grave economic and social consequences on the civilian population.
The delegation made a number of field visits, including to Shifa Hospital in Gaza; the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and its Ambulance and Emergency Department; al-Hilal Sports Club; Gaza Seaport; the Fishermen Syndicate; the Palestinian NGO Network in the Gaza Strip; and the UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip. The delegation also met with the representatives of the aforementioned organizations and discussed the economic, social and political situation in the Gaza Strip and the material damage inflicted on its infrastructure following the latest Israeli offensive.
PCHR organized a ceremony for members of the delegation, which was attended by a number of the international activists in the Gaza Strip and PCHR’s staff. Fintan Lane, coordinator of the Irish delegation, expressed his appreciation of PCHR’s role and efforts in monitoring human rights in Palestine, “Gaza has a rich history and distinguished culture. The closure is a humanitarian catastrophe, but not of natural reasons; it is man-made and it is a policy that can only be changed via political action. The tireless and great willpower and determination of the Palestinian fishermen to defy the Israeli assaults and violations is a model that requires our support for protecting their rights.”
On his part, Mr. Raji Sourani praised the role and efforts of the international solidarity delegations in supporting the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Sourani also expressed his deep appreciation for the international activists who decided to face the Israeli offensive and document the attacks of the Israeli forces. Mr. Sourani awarded members of the delegation PCHR’s souvenir plaque. He also presented PCHR’s souvenir plaque to a number of international activists for their role in documenting the alleged Israeli violations of human rights and war crimes committed against the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip; the recipients are: Mr. Iddie Marmish, from Britain; Ms. Rosa Sciano, from Italy; Mr. Sarah Kats, from France and Ms. Teresa Modirmot.