International Conference in Gaza Confirms that Gaza Blockade Is War Crime

Speakers during an international conference, entitled “16 Years of the Gaza Siege; Repercussions and Prospects” that was held today, Monday, November 28, 2022, in Gaza City confirmed that the continuation of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip is a war crime against the Palestinians and a disgrace to the world.

During the conference held by the Council on International Relations – Palestine, the speakers called on the international community to work to end this unjust siege, which represents a disgrace to humanity in the twenty-second century.

The conference hosted a group of international figures who have played an important role and had outstanding contributions in terms of attempts to break the Israeli occupation blockade imposed on the city.

The conference aims, according to its organizers, to shed light on the repercussions of the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza 16 years ago on the political, social, and economic levels, and to seek to activate the international and solidarity movement again against the blockade imposed on Gaza.

Figures representing the governmental sectors and Palestinian civil society, as well as characters representing the international community, participated in the conference to address the repercussions of the blockade imposed on the Strip.

“Our people are suffering in all fields and are deprived of their most basic rights to housing and medicine, and their suffering will remain evidence of the crime of genocide committed against humanity,” said Mohammed Hashim al-Farrar, deputy head of the Government Action Follow-up Committee, in a speech during the conference.

Al-Farra added, “Gaza was subjected to a suffocating humanitarian blockade, and strict restrictions and war were imposed on the Strip in all humanitarian fields.”

He explained that the industrial and productive sector was paralyzed, while more than 80% of the factories were closed due to the blockade, indicating that the electrical deficit in the Gaza Strip reached more than 50% due to the continuation of the blockade.

Al-Farra stated that the blockade caused an increase in poverty, unemployment, a housing crisis, health and financial disability, and the death of many patients because the Israeli occupation prevented them from traveling abroad for medical treatment.

He called on the international community to work to end this unjust blockade, which represents a disgrace to humanity in the twenty-second century, thanking all parties that stood by the Palestinian people during the blockade and supported them in all forms.

In turn, Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Al-Qanou said that the blockade have been imposed on Gaza 16 years ago is a human crime against the Palestinian people, and a disgrace to the world that deals with double standards, stressing that the Palestinian people will not accept the continuation of the blockade.

For his part, Khader Habib, a leader in the Islamic Jihad Movement, affirmed that the Palestinian people will not compromise on their resistance, and will face the blockade with all the legitimate means available to them.

As well, a member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front, Maher Mezher, described the continuation of the blockade as a war crime that requires all efforts to end it.

Mezher stressed the right of the Palestinian resistance to activate all options to confront the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for 16 years.

As for the official spokesman of the National Initiative Movement in Gaza, Yaghi Aed, he said that the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza is a war crime that reflects the policy of state terrorism, stressing that the Palestinian people will continue their way to end the siege and liberate their land in order to establish their state.

The conference activities include 3 sessions, in addition to the opening and closing sessions. The first sessions focused on the repercussions of the blockade imposed on Gaza, the second dealt with the experiences of breaking the blockade on Gaza, and the third session dealt with the future of the blockade imposed on the Strip.

CIR to hold International conference highlighting Gaza siege impacts after 16 years

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) is to hold an international conference highlighting the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, with the participation of international and Arab figures.

The conference “16 Years of the Siege of Gaza: Repercussions and Prospects” will host as well a group of international figures who played an important role and had distinguished contributions in terms of attempts to break the siege imposed on the coastal enclave.

The conference aims, according to the CIR, to shed light on the impacts of the 16-year long siege at the political, social and economic levels, mobilize the international and solidarity movement and attract official political positions to reject the siege.

The event will be attended by figures representing the Gaza government committee and civil society; to address the repercussions of the siege.

The three sessions of the conference will include three aspects. The first highlights the repercussions of the siege, the second deals with the experiences of breaking the siege on Gaza, and the final session deals with the future of the siege.

The Gaza Strip has been suffering for 16 years from a strict and stifling siege imposed by the Israeli occupation, as a punishment for the results of the democratic process and the Palestinians electing Hamas to lead the Palestinian political decision.


To follow the conference activities tomorrow via live broadcast:


or via YouTube:

Specialists Discuss Voting Behavior in United Nations Institutions Toward Palestinian Cause

Specialists Discuss Voting Behavior in United Nations Institutions Toward Palestinian Cause

At a symposium held by the Council on International Relations in Gaza sponsored by the Palm Strategic Initiatives Centre

May 20, 2022

In a Symposium held on Thursday by Palm center in cooperation with the Council on International Relations – Palestine, Palestinian and international political and human rights specialists discussed the voting behavior in United Nations institutions towards the Palestinian cause.

The symposium continues the research survey project carried out by the Council on International Relations late last year by United Nations institutions towards the Palestinian cause during 2005-to 2022.

Palestine is an international issue

Dr. Basem Naim, President of the Council on International Relations – Palestine, opened the session by talking about the “Palestinian cause in its international dimension.”

Naim said that the Palestinian cause since it rises, has been an “international issue,” and this international dimension plays a central role in this issue more than any other issue in the world.

He added that this conflict was a crud expression of the colonial countries from the time it started until today.

He stated that they continually work to create a functional entity that serves several goals, including the depletion of the region, the squandering of its wealth, and keeping it separated to facilitate control.

Naim also said: “We are here to discuss the best ways to develop a national strategy to confront the catastrophe of the decline in voting in favor of the Palestinian cause in the United Nations. Otherwise, the worst is to come,” referring to the international Israeli efforts, including its efforts to omit UNRWA and join the African Union.

Restoration of the Palestinian Initiative

In turn, the former Palestinian Foreign Minister, Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, talked about the importance of the UN and the international institutions; and the need to invest in them to benefit the Palestinian cause, reviewing how the voting behavior has declined, especially during the past recent years.

Pointing at the decline of support for the Palestinian cause in the international institutions, he said, “The world has changed, and the ideological role of countries has shrunk in favor of economic and political interests.”

He stressed the importance of maintaining a supportive Arab position towards the Palestinian issue, at least in international organizations. Otherwise, the rest of the voters, who support Palestine, will vanish.

He also emphasized the significance of the restoration of the Palestinian initiative.

Imposing sanctions and isolating the apartheid

Professor John Dugard, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur to UNCHR, stated in his speech about the United Nations’ position towards the Palestinian cause that people should distinguish between the United Nations in Geneva and the United Nations in New York.

Dugard suggested that there must be an active role for the United Nations in terms of adopting the truth that “Israel imposes apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories; this includes the siege, the embargo, and the economic sanctions as well as isolation of Israel until it ends its occupation and recognizes the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people and the state of Palestine.

Because if the world accepts this apartheid, there will be nothing to do but to undo whatever action was taken against the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

Reasons behinds change

Salah Abdel-Aty, President of Supporting Palestinian People Rights Association, started by mentioning the reasons behind the change in the voting behavior towards Palestine in the United Nations institution.

Abdel-Aty added that the United Nations is a political, diplomatic, and legal conflict area that cannot be neglected. Still, it does not prevent other means such as armed and popular resistance, media, diplomacy, communities, and boycott and solidarity movements that work simultaneously to reduce the duration of the occupation.

In a related context, Abdel-Aty attributed the decline in the vote in favor of Palestine at the United Nations to Palestinians being separated, presenting the worst model of autonomy; and to their failure in holding elections along with the weakness of the official Palestinian efforts, and the decline of the international diplomatic Arab relations.

Abdel-Aty recommended the establishment of a specialized studies center that aims at influencing each country and maintaining the pressure on them to take a position that serves the Palestinian cause.

A case study of Latin America and Africa

The Law for Palestine organization researcher, Ghadeer Abu Madin, presented a “Case Study – Latin American Countries.” Abu Madian said that the Latin America States are historically a strong ally of the Palestinians. They have good diplomatic relations with Palestinians, and they vote in favor of Palestine in the General Assembly.

Abu Madin also discussed the decline in the voting behavior of some countries in Latin America, mainly Guatemala and Brazil, towards Palestine and accounted for the rise of extreme right-wing parties to power in the two countries and the improvement of their economic and diplomatic relations with the Israeli occupation.

She recommended that the State of Palestine adopt the international law discourse more in international forums, activate the Palestinian embassies, and establish committees specializing in following up on the developments of global forums.

President of the Afro-Middle East Centre, Prof. Naim Jena, also presented a case study about “African Countries” pointing out that ‘Israel’ is actively working in the African continent to win its support in international forums.

He talked about the relations between African countries and Palestinians through history and the Israeli attempts to devastate this relationship for decades, pointing out that Israel had built ties with some African countries and parties in the past years, even if no diplomatic relations were between them.

Institutions of civil society

In the second session, the Deputy Director-General of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Hamdi Shaqoura, talked about the role the Palestinian civil society institutions play in influencing the international community’s position towards Palestine and the Israeli efforts to undermine this role.

Saqqara said that “the de-legitimization of Palestinian rights is rooted in the Zionist project before the establishment of Israel, a state established on de-legitimization and ethnic cleansing and did not see any existence of the Palestinian people.”

He touched upon the Israeli attack on Palestinian civil society organizations as 6 of them are classified as “terrorists,” saying that this attack reflects the influential role of those organizations in confronting its plans to fragment Palestine, exposing the Israeli narrative and pursuing Israeli war criminals.”


Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development Ghazi Hamad spoke about the impact of the Arab normalization on voting in favor of the Palestinian cause, clarifying that “Israel has put a significant effort to color its criminal image, added to its strong and strategic relations with the West.”

He continued by saying that “Israel was working hard to influence the Arab world,” noting that the United States had compelled some Arab countries to normalize their relations with ‘Israel,’ taking advantage of the so-called “Iranian threat.”


The organizers read the significant recommendations at the end of the symposium, including the need to end the split between Palestinian resistance factions, restore the Palestinian unity, develop a national strategy to confront the deterioration of the diplomatic relations and work on highlighting the racist apartheid state and pressure towards adopting a boycott of ‘Israel’ and imposing international sanctions on it.

Activating popular diplomacy, enforcing the official diplomatic policy to act in such critical circumstances, and launching legal efforts to besiege the occupying state were also recommendations.

CIR: Palestinians to keep following Mandela lead against apartheid

On his 8th death anniversary,

CIR: Palestinians to keep following Mandela lead against apartheid

Council on International Relations – Palestine said on the 8th death anniversary of the iconic fighter Nelson Mandela that his struggle continues to inspire the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and independence.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Council added that Mandela’s history and struggle charted a way to freedom for all oppressed peoples around the world, who still remember to this day his contribution to the struggle against apartheid, oppression and colonialism.

“We highly appreciate the position of South Africa, which continues to support the Palestinian people in the footsteps Mandela, and appreciate the successive stances issued by them, which confirm the depth of the relationship between South Africa and Palestine”, the CIR said.

The Gaza-bases body concluded its statement by reminding that the Palestinian people have not and will not forget Mandela’s historic saying: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Today, December 5, marks the 8th anniversary of the death of the spiritual leader and fighter against apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), at his home in Johannesburg, after suffering from a lung disease.

CIR opens the premiere of “We ..” in Gaza

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) opened, Thursday, the premiere of a documentary film entitled (We … a story of people live in religious peace), in the Rashad Shawa Cultural Center in Gaza, attended by national, religious and other prominent figures, and in partnership with the local Shehab Agency.

The film narrates the state of coexistence and community peace between Muslims and Christians in the Gaza Strip, and embodies the state of social solidarity in times of crises and emergency situations, interconnectedness and peace between the two.

“We” reviews the state of harmony and partnership between them, and highlights many positions that show religious peace in the besieged enclave.

Dr. Basem Naim, Head of the CIR, acknowledged during the event the great efforts made to complete the documentary that deals with an important aspect of life and peaceful coexistence in the Gaza Strip.

Naim said: “The documentary aims to convey the message of Palestine in general and Gaza specifically to Arabs and Muslims, as well as to enemies and in all languages,” stressing that the documentary does not present anything new, but rather documents a case rooted in the history of the Palestinian people, and this made the task easier for those in charge of its production.

Naim praised the strength and toughness of the people of Gaza, despite all the schemes and plots being hatched against them, but they still adhere to the resistance and awareness, on which the documentary content focused on.

The municipal head of Gaza municipality Dr. Yahya Al-Sarraj stressed the message and goal of the documentary, which expresses the truth and history of the authentic Palestinian people, through coexistence and community cohesion in all circumstances and times.

Al-Sarraj thanked everyone who contributed and worked for the success of this distinguished work, which conveys the message of peace, tolerance and community solidarity.

For his part, Father Yusef Asaad, assistant patron of Latin Church, thanked the producers, and emphasized the message of tolerance and coexistence rooted in Palestine.

He pointed out that the first person to recognize Palestine was the Pope Vatican despite the pressures he was subjected to, but he remained steadfast. Fr Asaad stressed the need to promote a culture of love for others, to live in peace and do good everywhere.


CIR: Celebrating this day requires more solidarity and support for our people from the whole world

In a press conference regarding the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,

CIR: Celebrating this day requires more solidarity and support for our people from the whole world

Council on International relations – Palestine (CIR) said Thursday that celebrating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People requires more solidarity and support from the whole world for our people and their causes and rights.

In a press conference held in Gaza Thursday before UNSCO headquarter, the Council said the Palestinian people continue to live under the Israeli occupation, which continues to intensify its criminal policies that target everything related to the rights of our people, foremost of which is their right to live in dignity on their national soil and their independent state.

“We celebrate the occasion this year in light of an aggressive campaign that aims to settle the Palestinian cause and end the dream of an independent Palestine State”, the CIR member Tayseer Mehaisen said during the conference.

“The American administration has recently taken several devastating decisions such as moving the American embassy to occupied Jerusalem, drastic cuts of the United Nations’ funds, and shutting down the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington. The American administration has recognized the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, claiming that their establishment does not violate the international law.  By this step, it violates the International consensus to continue backing the ongoing Israeli crimes in Palestine.” The CIR explained.

The CIR expressed its appreciation to the friends of the Palestinian people, calling upon them to strengthen their positions to form a pressing power on the occupation in all international forums, especially the United Nations and its organs, the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court in particular until a clear message is sent to the occupation that its criminal policies are no longer unknown to anyone.

Speaking of the Normalization issue, the Council condemned some juggling in the normalization of relations between some governments in the Arab region and the state of the Israeli occupation, with the knowledge of the reality of the popular position in these countries.

The CIR called on the vital forces of the Arab and Islamic nations to express their positions on what is happening and condemn this strange behavior. In the same context, the council highly appreciated the positions of countries that refused to deal with the infiltration attempts by the occupation and demanded more steadfastness on the road to support the Palestinian people and cause.

The Council called on the international community to condemn the occupation policies and actions, on top of which to condemn the transfer of embassies to Jerusalem, the continued settlement expansion, the siege on Gaza and the crimes against peaceful Return Marches. The council called upon them to boycott everything related to the Israeli occupation on the political, cultural, economic and diplomatic levels. The siege of Gaza and the crimes of the occupation against peaceful return marches.

Following the conference, A CIR delegate passes along a letter to the UN Secretary General through the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Irish writer: Europe will not be honest mediator for its hypocrite, duplicate policy towards Palestinian cause

During a meeting held by CIR

Irish writer: Europe will not be honest mediator for its hypocrite, duplicate policy towards Palestinian cause

Entitled “As the American position gets along with Israeli one, will be Europe an honest alternative to the American mediator?”, Council on International Relations – Palestine held a meeting via Skype with the Irish writer, journalist and activist David Cronin in which he addressed the position of European countries on the Palestinian issue.

Taysir Muhaisen, a diplomatic counselor and member of the Council, pointed out that this meeting comes in the context of highlighting important issues that concern to the Palestinian cause at the international level.

For his part, head of the Council, Dr. Basem Naim, said that Europe was the reason for creating the problem of the Palestinians and the establishment of “Israel”.

“At a time everyone believes that” Israel “is taking unilateral actions to make the two-state solution impossible, will Europe be able to rein in the Zionist extremism in light of the American bias toward “Israel”?” Naim wondered.

Cronin began his speech by disclosing his belief that Trump is more impartial than the Europeans because he does what he says.

“He does not claim to abide by international law and then contravene, and he publicly supports the occupation and its actions and does not do so in a lined manner”, Cronon said.

Despite the Israeli violations that undermine the two-state solution, Cronin has pointed out, the European Union is actively engaged in projects and activities in which Israel participates, and it provides great support such as the Horizon 2020 project and the weapons exhibitions, especially the drones that proved how much dangerous it is after the Israeli wars on Gaza.

“All this is happening at a time representatives and leaders in Europe are still hoping to see a two-state solution, which is false remarks”, Cronin added, “the truth is that the EU accepts and turns a blind eye to the occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, but it does so in a veiled way.”

Cronin has recalled the European Union’s position on the massacres in Gaza. The EU neither condemned it nor demanded “Israel” to stop the killing of Palestinians, rather it called on “Israel” to use the appropriate force. The EU considered such crimes as self-defense which is a rude response as the Irish writer described it.

Cronin talked about the term of anti-Semitism, and how the European Union has stifled solidarity movements with Palestine under the pretext of combating anti-Semitism, using the definition of the International Coalition for the Remembrance of the Holocaust (IHRA) as a weapon to attack anyone who advocates Palestinians and exposes Israel.

Cronin praised the Palestinians who showed great courage in the face of Israeli aggression every week. “Their courageous actions inspire European writers and journalists to continue their defense of the Palestinian cause.” The Irish writer added.

Regarding what is required, Cronin pointed to strengthening the solidarity movement with the Palestinians and supporting the BDS. “The change in Europe will not come from politicians but the ordinary people, he stressed. He also called on the European Union to work to end the Israeli occupation if they are serious to abide by international law.



CIR visits AlDameer to discuss prospects of cooperation

A delegation from Council on International Relations – Palestine “CIR” Monday visited the headquarter of AlDameer Association for Human Rights in Gaza to discuss the prospects of cooperation.

The delegation, that included head of the council Dr. Basem Naim, and members of the board of director, was received by the Director of AlDameer Hala Alqishawi.

Naim reviewed the “CIR” activities and sections, referring that the visit that comes within the framework of the Council’s plan to communicate and cooperate with the human rights organizations.

On her part, Al-Qishawi thanked the delegation for the visit and for the Council’s interests in the field of International Relations, asserting the need for attention to communicating with the outside world, pointing on some of the Association activities.

The two parties discussed ways of cooperation, especially providing training to the youth group affiliated to the council in the field of legal, human rights and advocacy to be more able to face the propaganda that undermines the Palestinian issue.

Palestinian Experts warn of American efforts to Arabize, undermine UNRWA

Gaza Experts warned of US and Israeli efforts to Arabize and weaken UNRWA by pushing donors to stop their financial aid.

This came during a political meeting entitled “UNRWA: to where in the light of the financial crisis and corruption investigations?”, organized by Council on International Relations -Palestine in Gaza City, attended representatives of Palestinian factions and political analysts.

“UNRWA is not going through a financial crisis only but a political one, made by the US administration, in preparation for implementing “the Deal of the Century”, liquidating the refugees’ issue and ending the UNRWA’s work “, the attendants said.

Dr. Basem Naim, head of the Council, said there is a consensus that the real crisis is political, and reflects the Zionist-American conspiracy to end the UNRWA and to pave the way to end the Palestinian refugees’ issue.

For his part, Dr. Samir Abu Modallalah, a researcher at the Refugee Centre for Community Development, said the financial crisis has been inherent to UNRWA since its establishment, but with the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993, attempts were clear to end the Agency and throw it into the lap of Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Modallala said: “the core of the UNRWA crisis is political because “ending UNRWA will end the refugee’s issue.”

He explained that UNRWA is a temporary institution ad defined by the United Nations, and is renewed every three years. That leads us to wonder why its budget is not as permanent as UNESCO and FAO?!

He added, “We need to work on two levels: First, how to reduce UNRWA’s financial expenses in return for increasing services for refugees. Second, to move politically and reduce the pressure on the Agency, for fear that UNRWA becomes an Arab institution that is thrown into the Arab’s lap.

Huwaidi stressed that the US administration and the Israeli Occupation do not hesitate to seize any opportunity to pressure the United Nations to reduce moral and financial support to UNRWA.

“the fastest the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry declared, the better for the donors to keep supporting the agency,” Hwaidi said in terms of corruption investigations in UNRWA.

Mandate renewal

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said that UNRWA does not have the authority to renew its mandate, a vote of the Member States of the United Nations General Assembly does.

He said that UNRWA has been facing financial challenges since 2018 when the United States decided to reduce its aid from $360 million annual budget to only $60 million.

“We faced a large deficit of $446 million which is an existential deficit. Any organization that loses 40% of its budget is exposed to collapse. However, UNRWA was able to fill this gap ”, Abu Hasna added.

“Before UNRWA’s new mandate, are we optimistic or pessimistic?” Abu Hasna said, “We fear the nature of the region and events, but there is a great support for UNRWA and its role in the new mandate,” he said.

Regarding the Agency’s corruption investigations, Abu Hasna said some allegations are being investigated by a UN team, no conclusions are reached to date.

He explained that UNRWA is not only the only organization with allegations and investigations; “But as soon as these allegations came out, we were surprised that Israeli and US officials demanded the liquidation of UNRWA, including US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt,” he said.