Press releases

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.

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.

CIR: Israeli Violations against Palestinian children require firm stance from int’l community

On the Palestinian Child’s Day,

CIR: Israeli Violations against Palestinian children require firm stance from int’l community


The Council on International Relations – Palestine said that the ongoing violations of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian children are no secret to anyone, in light of the figures published by the Commission of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs.


The commission explained that since the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 occupied, the Israeli occupation has arrested 50,000 Palestinian children, and that the occupation targets Palestinian children, like adults, without regard to their privacy or the protection they enjoy under international humanitarian law.


On the Palestinian Child’s Day, which falls on the 5th of April every year, the CIR said: “These violations against our children constitute ongoing war crimes at time when “Israel” is trying to market itself as an oasis of democracy and human rights in the region.”


The Council called on the international community to intervene to stop these serious violations, to exert maximum pressure on the occupation and to impose sanctions on it in order to retract these criminal policies.