Press releases

CIR urges int’l community to help Gaza survive impending disaster

Council on International Relations – Palestine urged the international community to urgently help the Gaza Strip survive an impending disaster, after cases of Coronavirus registered for the first time among the community.

The Council said in a statement issued, Wednesday, that the crime of the strict Israeli siege imposed on Gaza for 14 years destroyed the health and service sectors, leading to a serious disaster.

The CIR called on international institutions to speed up the rescue and help the Strip with the supplies necessary to face the crisis in light of the crumbling health system due to the Israeli siege.

The Council called on the international community to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to lift this siege, especially in these critical circumstances that the Strip is going through, and to shoulder its responsibility towards the area it occupies.

“We warn of the consequences of the spread of the virus in the Gaza Strip, and hold the Israeli occupation fully responsible for any catastrophe that afflicts the Gaza Strip”, the Council warned.

The Ministry of Health in the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday registered cases from the coronavirus pandemic for the first time among the community. The authorities in the enclave imposed a two-day lockdown as part of measures to stem the virus’ spread.

CIR Confirms Right of Palestinians to Jerusalem Will not be Nullified by Occupation, its Supporters Steps

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) affirmed that the right of the Palestinian people to have Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state is their absolute right according to United Nations resolutions.

The CIR said in a statement issued Friday the measures taken by the Israeli occupation since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 are invalid and will not nullify the right of the Palestinian people to it.

In its statement, the Council indicated that the decisions of some countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of the occupation state are null decisions according to Security Council Resolution 478, calling on these countries to retreat these illegal steps.

It has been 40 years ago since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 478 which reaffirms that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible.

CIR condemns attacking UNRWA school in Gaza by Israeli air raids

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) condemned the Israeli occupation’s attack on an UNRWA school at Thursday dawn today, which caused damage to the school and put hundreds of students at risk.

In a statement issued Thursday morning, the Council said that attacking civilian institutions, including international institutions operating in the Gaza Strip, is a war crime added to the ongoing war crimes committed by the occupation against the Palestinian people and their rights, including the right of return for refugees.

The CIR stated: “This attack is not the first of its kind, as the occupation has always been used to attacking these institutions as it realizes the importance of their role in being witness to the tragedy of the Palestinian people and the ongoing occupation crimes.”

The Council called on the international community to denounce this crime and hold the occupation accountable by suspending international support for it, boycotting it and imposing sanctions on it, stressing the importance of continuing to support UNRWA to ensure the continuation of providing its services to Palestinian refugees.

The Ministry of Interior and National Security in the Gaza Strip, Thursday, announced that an Israeli warplane, at dawn, fired a missile at a school belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, “UNRWA”, in Al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, no injuries reported.

Israeli warplanes and artillery fired this morning several missiles and shells at various targets in the north and south of Gaza Strip causing heavy damage to the sites and buildings nearby but no injuries.

CIR welcomes UNESCO decisions on Palestine, thanks countries voted in favor

Council on International Relations welcomed the two decisions on Palestine issued unanimously by the Executive Council of the “UNESCO” without any amendments.

The Council said in a statement issued Tuesday that the members ’unanimous vote on the two resolutions is an affirmation of the isolation of the occupation and the erosion of international support for it in light of its repeated violations of international law.

The Council thanked the Arab countries that submitted the draft resolutions, noting that this honorable position is the expected one to counter the Zionist projects.

The CIR called on UNESCO to continue to resist American and Israeli pressure, to continue to stand by international law and not to allow the occupying power to take advantage of global crises to legalize the theft of Palestinian lands and antiquities.

UNESCO’s Executive Committee adopted Monday two resolutions on Palestine. Item 24 stated that All actions taken by Israel which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith. The same item deeply deplores the ongoing military development around the Gaza Strip and their heavy toll of civilian casualties and reaffirms that the two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque are an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In item 25, UNESCO shows deep concern about the Israeli censorship of the Palestinian curricula of schools and universities in East Jerusalem and Deeply regrets the destruction by the Israeli authorities of schools.

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.