Press releases

CIR welcomes Belgian parliament resolution urging gov’t to countermeasure Israeli plan

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed the Belgian Federal Parliament’s vote Friday in favor of a draft resolution calling on the Belgian government to condemn any decision taken by “Israel” to annex Palestinian lands.

The council said in a statement issued, Friday, that the decision strengthens successive international opposing positions to the Israeli annexation plan, and it puts increasing pressure on the Israeli occupation to revoke this scheme.

The issuance of positions opposing the Israeli annexation plan from countries that stood by the occupation in most of its policies demonstrates the erosion of the Israeli position on the international level because of its violation of international law and international agreements, the Council pointed out.

The CIR called on the Belgian government to implement what came in the draft resolution, impose sanctions on the Israeli occupation state and not to allow it to implement its criminal policies without a strong international response.

The Belgian federal parliament adopted a resolution on Friday urging the government to prepare a list of countermeasures against “Israel” in case it annexes the occupied Palestinian territories.

The resolution was proposed by the Green party, and passed with 101 votes in favor and 39 abstentions.

On 10th anniversary of Marmara massacre, CIR reiterates call to hold Israeli occupation accountable

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) called for holding the Israeli occupation accountable for the massacre committed on this day ten years ago in which 9 Turkish solidarity activists were killed on the Freedom Flotilla.

The council said in a statement issued Sunday that the world must not allow the occupation to escape with impunity for the war crimes it committed that will not fall under a statute of limitations.

“The world must honor the memory of these heroes by working to achieve the goal for which they sacrificed: lifting the siege on Gaza”, the council added.

The CIR saluted all the people in solidarity with the Palestinian people around the world, stressing that history will never forget their positions for freedom and human dignity, and that the criminal will be held accountable sooner or later.

Ten years ago, on Sunday, Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-owned vessel that was part of a flotilla seeking to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza by delivering aid and humanitarian support.

Eight Turkish nationals and an American-Turkish activist were shot dead during the raid, while another Turkish man later succumbed to his injuries. Dozens were injured in the attack.

CIR welcomes HRW report, says it confirms Israel as apartheid state

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed the report issued today by Human Rights Watch, which affirmed that Israel pursued a policy of racial discrimination against the Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

The council said in a statement issued Tuesday that this report is the first of its kind that covers all of historic Palestine about violations of Palestinian rights, inequality and land grabbing.

The CIR indicated that the report confirms that the Israeli occupation state is no different from the apartheid South Africa, and even worse and that it is a state based on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and depriving them of their basic rights.

In the light of this report, the Council called on the international community to impose sanctions on the occupying power, similar to the sanctions imposed on the apartheid South Africa, to recognize the state of Palestine and force the occupation to withdraw from the occupied territories and give the Palestinians their rights.

The Gaza-based body noted that the issuance of the report at a time the Palestinians are commemorating the seventy-second anniversary of the Nakba requires the entire world to support the right of the Palestinian people to return to the homes that were taken from them and compensate them for the years of suffering in the Diaspora.

A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report said on Tuesday the Israeli government’s policy favours Jewish citizens as decades of land confiscations and discriminatory policies have restricted Palestinian citizens to densely populated towns and villages that have little room to expand.

CIR values call from 58 Norwegians organizations to “End the siege of Gaza now”

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) valued the letter sent by 58 Norwegian institutions to Norway foreign minister to demand an end to Gaza siege.

The council said in a statement issued Sunday that the letter expresses a courageous stance of these institutions that stand beside the rights of the Palestinian people and join many international institutions, decisions and reports that confirmed that the siege of Gaza is a war crime and must be lifted immediately.

The Council called on Norway, as the incubator of the Oslo accords in 1993, to pressure the Israeli occupation state to lift the unjust siege of Gaza, which has exacerbated human life and turned the strip into an open-air prison and an uninhabitable area.

58 Norwegian organizations and political parties have demanded their country’s foreign ministry to put pressure on Israel to end its siege on the Gaza Strip in particular.

“We urge the minister of foreign affairs to take an initiative at the UN and in other international bodies in order to stop the collective punishment of the Palestinians, an action that, according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, is considered a war crime,” their letter concluded.

CIR praises US senators letter calling for helping Palestinians fighting Corona

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) welcomed the letter by US senators demanding the US administration to assist the Palestinians in fighting Coronavirus.

The Council said in a statement issued Sunday: “We highly appreciate the step of the eight senators in which they refused to link humanitarian aid to political situations. We appreciate these honest human feelings, especially their referring to the tragic conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli siege imposed for 14 years.”

In its statement, the CIR stressed that this step comes in the right time, as the Palestinians are facing an extremist American administration whose position is identical to the racist Israeli government, which seeks in every way to liquidate the Palestinian cause and remove the rights of the Palestinians.

The CIR called on the rest of the members of Congress to support this letter and pressure the US administration to resume UNRWA allocations and stop any steps that would support the occupation and steal the rights of the Palestinians.

Eight members of the American Senate had appealed to the American administration to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to help them overcome the Coronavirus pandemic.

CIR: Rachel Corrie is distinguished example of global solidarity in face of Israeli occupation

Council of International Relations – Palestine said that the 17th anniversary marking the killing of American activist Rachel Corrie at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces comes at a time when attempts to write off the Palestinian issue with the support of the American administration are increasing.

The council said that Corrie, who paid her life to protest the crimes of the occupation, is an honest and inspiring example of the solidarity of activists from all countries with the Palestinian cause, those countries that some of their governments support the policy of the Israeli occupation.

The Council affirmed that the young generation around the world believes in truth, justice and humanitarian support for the Palestinian people, their struggle, resilience and their rejection to give up their land and rights, despite the great sacrifices.

“We see a contradictory picture of a US administration that supports the occupation, and American activists who shed light on the reality of the Palestinian people. This confirms that people of conscience in the American people reject this occupation and its crimes,” the CIR said.

Despite 17 years have passed since the killing of Corrie, as stated in the statement, the occupation and its supporters have not and will not be able to liquidate the Palestinian cause and stop international activists from supporting it.

The CIR appreciated the activists of the world for their ongoing standing alongside the Palestinian people, calling on all countries to listen to the voice of the human conscience and reject the crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on 16 March 2003, while undertaking nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition.

CIR: US ditching ‘Palestinian residents’ term for Jerusalem Palestinians will never obliterate their identity

Council on International Relations – Palestine condemned the US State Department’s removal of “Palestinian residents” term for the Palestinians living in the occupied east Jerusalem.

“The US step is an attack on the Palestinian identity and blatant bias in favor of the occupation seeking to Judaize the Holy City”, the CIR said.

The council said in a statement issued Thursday that this step will not obliterate the identity of the Palestinians of Jerusalem who have lived there for centuries, and will not erase the fact that they are the original inhabitants.

“The US move comes in the context of the continuous American attempts to give legitimacy to the occupation of Jerusalem, in violation of international law and international legitimacy resolutions, which still considers Jerusalem, both east and west, occupied”, the CIR noted.

The Council said: “The American steps biased towards the Israeli occupation will not bring peace and stability to any party and will lead the region to more violence and instability.”

It called on the Palestinian residents of the city to continue to stand steadfast, the Arab and Islamic nation to continue to support the residents of Jerusalem, calling on the international community not to bow to the American steps and to take steps confirming the illegality of the US steps.

The State Department referred to Palestinians living in east Jerusalem as “Arab residents” and “non-Israeli citizens,” ditching the traditional term “Palestinian residents” in a move that continues the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as “Israel”’s capital.

 

CIR condemns Germany position supporting Israeli war crimes in ICC

Council on International Relations condemned the German position, that expressed support for “Israel” in the International Criminal Court and Germany’s claim that the court’s jurisdiction did not extend to the Palestinian territories.

The Council said in a statement Thursday, that the position of Germany and other European countries indicate a significant inequity in the balance of justice, democracy and humanity those countries claim to protect and, at the same time, seek to protect Israeli war criminals.

The Council affirmed that Palestine has been a member of the International Criminal Court for five years and has fulfilled the conditions for membership in this organization.

The Council noted that the United Nations recognized Palestine as an observer. “Palestine is an existing state, and is eligible to authorize the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate “Israel’s” criminal acts”, the CIR said.

The Council called on Germany and all member states of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Criminal Court to work to protect peoples from war criminals and to give their opinion to the Prosecutor on the authority of the court to operate in Palestine.

Brazil, Hungary, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia have asked the court to let them file “amicus brief” opinions on the case, ICC records show.

Some, including Germany, said they would argue the court’s jurisdiction did not extend to the Palestinian territories.

CIR hails UN list of firms linked to Israeli settlements

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) hailed the United Nations Human Rights Office report, which lists firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements.

The Council said in a statement Thursday that releasing this list comes after a long wait and a great effort by the human rights institutions that have worked tirelessly to hold these firms complicit in war crimes.

The Council stressed that adherence to international law is the best response to the attempts of the United States and the Israeli occupation in violation of this law and human rights and their pursuit to enforce the law of the jungle.

This step, according to the CIR, indicates the importance of the United Nations role in facing apartheid regimes and holding perpetrators of war crimes and human rights violations accountable and reminds us of the United Nations’ oversight role in eliminating apartheid in South Africa.

The Council stressed that publishing the list is a strong message to all firms complicit in human rights violations and benefiting from the apartheid regime, that they should not enjoy any immunity under such an unjust system.

In its statement, the Council called on the United Nations to implement what was stated in resolution 31/36 and not to submit to any pressure from any party, notably the Israeli occupation, and even to update this list whenever the need arises.

The UN body said it identified 112 business entities – 94 based in “Israel” and 18 in six other countries – which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

CIR: whilst supporting Israeli terrorism, EU fights Palestinian civil organizations with new conditions

Council on International Relations – Palestine said that the new conditions by the European Union for funding Palestinian civil society organizations are inconsistent with international laws.

The Council indicated in a statement issued Wednesday that these conditions are consistent with the occupation narrative, which labels the Palestinian people as terrorism because of their resistance, steadfastness, and adherence to their legitimate rights.

The council considered the new conditions a restriction on the Palestinian people, who are suffering under long-term military occupation, and who have the right to struggle to gain their independence and freedom from this occupation under international law and United Nations resolutions.

The Council accused the European Union of double standards.

“While strangling the Palestinian people under the pretext of fighting terrorism, the EU participates in supporting state terrorism practiced by “Israel” and finances its violations of human rights. The EU has funded Israeli organizations that practice organized terrorism and violate the rights of the Palestinian people, with $ 872 million, in Horizon 2020 project”, the CIR explained.

The Council said that the EU practices political hypocrisy and is subject to the pressure of the Zionist lobby in dealing with the Israeli occupation, as it considers the occupation and settlement illegal and at the same time funds Israeli institutions that contribute to the strengthening of settlements and occupation.

It called on the European Union to reconsider these conditions, and even to hold European officials accountable for funding the occupation organizations that violate international law.

“We call on the EU to strengthen support for our Palestinian people at all political, legal and financial levels, to achieve their aspirations for freedom and independence, otherwise the alternative would be continued chaos, instability and the disappearance of any opportunity to resolve the conflict permanently.

The European Union informed the Palestinian civil organizations by setting new conditions to continue their funding. Those conditions include labelling Palestinian parties and organizations on the list of terrorism and checking the names of the beneficiaries of the services provided by these institutions.