CIR: Israeli occupation underestimates int’l positions by closure of Palestinian NGOs

Council on International Relations – Palestine expressed its full solidarity with the Palestinian human rights organizations whose offices were closed and brutally assaulted by the Israeli occupation Thursday. The CIR denounced the fierce Israeli attack against the Palestinian human rights body.


The council said in a statement issued Friday that the attack on human rights NGOs reflects the occupation’s fear of being held accountable for its crimes and bringing them to international courts.


“The occupation has disregarded all international positions that refused the occupation decision to list the NGOs on terror list. “Israel” underestimated those positions and committed its heinous crime yesterday”, the CIR added.


The Gaza-based body affirmed that the campaign waged by the occupation against the Palestinian human rights body will not wipe out its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, who will continue their struggle and resistance to the occupation by all means available, including the legal struggle.


The Council called on the international community not to be satisfied with condemnation and hollow statements, and to move to protect human rights activists and take serious positions against Israeli crimes.


At dawn yesterday, Israeli Forces broke into, searched and sealed the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organizations in Ramallah. Their property was confiscated and destroyed. Israeli forces left copies of military orders to close the offices of the organizations.

CIR Slams UN for Leaving “Israel” off Child Rights Violators ‘List of Shame’

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) slammed the UN for leaving “Israel” off the “list of shame” issued for organizations and countries that violate the rights of children in conflict areas.


The Council said in a statement issued Friday, that this decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations not only exonerates the occupation, but also gives it the green light to continue its crimes and violation of all international laws.


“This year report contradicts itself, as it stated that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for killing 78 Palestinian children and maiming 982 others in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2021, and at the same time it did not include “Israel” in the list of countries and groups that violate the rights of children, the CIR added.


The Gaza-based body called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to correct this grave mistake and add “Israel” to the list of shame, and even activate all international tools to hold it accountable for its crimes and provide protection for Palestinian children.


The “list of shame”, which presently includes 57 government military units and non-state armed groups accountable for serious abuses against children in armed conflict, is a crucial accountability instrument. According to UN regulations, countries listed on the list are only removed after agreeing to and carrying out an action plan to stop their infractions and may be subject to sanctions from the UN Security Council.


The “List of Shame”, also known as the “Black List”, was issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2002 for organizations and countries that violate the rights of children in conflict areas, a list issued by the United Nations in an annual report.

CIR warns: OCHA report on Gaza siege raises alarm of likely new explosion

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) warned against the continuation of the stifling siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, welcoming OCHA report, that shed light on the crime of the Israeli siege on the coastal enclave.


The Council said in a statement issued on Monday that the OCHA report is added to many UN and international reports that confirmed this siege violates international law and causes a humanitarian catastrophe for over 15 years.


“OCHA’s report sounds the alarm about the possibility of a new explosion, especially in light of the rise in prices and the world’s preoccupation with the Ukrainian crisis and the clear targeting of UNRWA”, the CIR added in the statement.


The Council called on the international community to break the silence and take courageous steps and put pressure on the occupation to completely end the siege and stop its continuous aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.


A United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs “OCHA” report has highlighted the humanitarian impact of the continuous siege on the Gaza Strip for 15 years, as the Israeli occupation authorities, according to the report, have tightened restrictions on movement to a large extent, which led to the isolation of the Strip almost completely from the rest of the world.

CIR welcomes the Presbyterian Church’s vote to declare “Israel” an apartheid state

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed the vote by the American Presbyterian Church, in favor of declaring “Israel” an apartheid state.


The CIR said in a statement issued Sunday, that the Church’s vote is another witness added to the many evidence that have emerged recently accusing “Israel” of committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians.


The Council pointed out that the Church’s decision comes in light of the blatant Israeli attacks on the Christian presence and places of worship, including churches and properties, in the Palestinian territories, especially the occupied Jerusalem.


The successive reports accusing “Israel” of committing apartheid refute the allegations of “Israel” aimed at improving its image before the world, describing it as an “oasis of democracy” in the Middle East, the council added.


The Council called on the international community to take a bold decision to declare “Israel” an apartheid entity and to treat it as the apartheid regime in South Africa was treated with boycotts and imposition of sanctions until the occupation ends permanently.


The US Presbyterian Church, that claim over 1.7 million members, voted on Tuesday at its 225th General Assembly to declare “Israel” an “apartheid state” and designate a Nakba Remembrance Day within their calendars.

CIR: Electing Erdan Vice President of UN General Assembly encourages occupation crimes

Council on International Relations – Palestine condemned the election of the terrorist and settler Gilad Erdan, the representative of the Israeli occupation to the United Nations, as Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly.


The Council said in a statement issued Wednesday that electing Erdan is a reward and encouragement for this racist apartheid state and provides more immunity for its leaders from accountability before international courts.


The CIR noted that Erdan once tore up UN reports condemning “Israel” and threw them in the trash, and his election is a mockery of the efforts and reports of the United Nations.


The Council denounced the lack of objection by Arab and Islamic countries to this appointment. “We condemn the objection of only two countries, Syria and Iran, to the election of Erdan  while the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries did not find anything wrong with this criminal assuming the presidency of the highest international institution.”


The Council called on the United Nations to adopt policies that punish war criminals and officials of the Israeli occupation and prevent them from assuming high positions in the UN institution whose main goals are peace and security around the world.

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: European Parliament decision on curricula extortion in favor of legitimizing Zionist presence on our land

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) expressed its strong condemnation of the European Parliament’s decision yesterday, in which the parliament condemned the Palestinian educational curricula, claiming that they are inciting.


The CIR said in a statement Monday that the parliament’s decision is an extortion, aimed at depriving Palestinian education of the financial support provided by European countries and international institutions.


“The decision is an attempt to imped the process of building the Palestinian state and its educational institutions, and most importantly to delegitimize the Palestinian struggle, and prevent Palestinian generations from learning their history”, the council added.


The Council said that the European Parliament’s decision comes in compliance with Israeli pressures and allegations, while ignoring the monitoring of Israeli curricula, which are rife with racism and calls for hatred and violence to the last detail.


The Council warned that this biased policy will not serve security and stability. “We call on the Parliament to reverse its decisions and support just Palestinian rights in harmony with international law, notably the right of generations of the Palestinian people to know their history of struggle, to resist occupation, and to achieve freedom and independence.

CIR congratulates Sinn Féin on historic victory in North Ireland elections

Council on International Relations-Palestine (CIR) congratulated Sinn Féin party on a historical electoral victory in Northern Ireland.

In a congratulatory message sent by the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Basem Naim, to the party leadership, the CIR said: “This victory confirms your party’s rooting in the consciousness and minds of the brotherly Irish people and the importance of your struggle for independence and unity.”

The council expressed its hope that this victory would constitute additional support for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence, adding: “Your victory gives us hope that the struggle of the Palestinian people will lead to achieving their national goals, and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, that supports Palestinian rights, hailed a “new era” Saturday for Northern Ireland as it captured the largest number of seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time in a historic win.

CIR: We warn against Lazzarini’s statements that lay ground for undermining UNRWA

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) warned against the recent statements of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr Philippe Lazzarini, in which he indicated the services could be provided by other institutions on behalf of the UNRWA


The CIR said in a statement issued, Sunday, that these statements issued by the head of the UN agency establish the diversion of UNRWA from its basic mission, a goal that the Israeli occupation has long sought over the past years.


In its statement, the Council rejected the Commissioner’s statements, demanding that he issues an official statement to clarify the reality of these trends.

“We recall the UNRWA function for which it was established, which is to provide relief and employment for Palestinian refugees until they return to their homes in accordance with UN Resolution 194”, the CIR added.


The Council emphasized that the Palestinian refugee issue is not only a humanitarian issue, but rather a political one, adding: “Their issue is fundamentally linked to the return of the refugees to their homes. Limiting their problem to the human dimension is a serious matter that may threaten to explode the situation.”


The Council called on the Commissioner-General to retract these statements, and put pressure on the international community, which caused the Palestinian refugee problem by recognizing the state of the Israeli occupation, to solve the financial crisis the agency has been suffering from for years.

CIR extends condolences to South Africa over flood victims

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) offered deep condolences to South Africa over the flood victims that struck KwaZulu-Natal province.

The tragic incident has left scores of people dead and wounded and damaged facilities, homes and infrastructure in the area.

In a statement, the CIR extended to the South African people and the families of the victims sincere condolences.

“We wish a speedy recovery to all the injured, and express our solidarity with you in this crisis, and we stand by your side to face the effects of this disaster. We are confident in your ability to overcome this”, the CIR added.

At least 259 people were killed in South Africa on Wednesday as heavy rains and floods hit the eastern cost of the country, damaging roads and destroying houses.