Secretariat Holds Meeting with Partner CSOs on Emergency Funding for the Gaza Strip

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PRESS RELEASE

8 September 2014

Secretariat Holds Meeting with Partner CSOs on Emergency Funding for the Gaza Strip

On 4 September 2104, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat held a meeting with CSO partners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The meeting was organized as a followup to the approval of emergency funding to partner CSOs engaged directly in documentation efforts of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the recent war on the Gaza Strip.

The meeting was held in the premises of the PCHR, via video conference with the Secretariat office in Ramallah, and attended by: Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Aldameer, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Women Technical Affairs Committee (WATC), Women Affairs Committee – Gaza (WAC), Al Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI) and Badil. Representatives of the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (SIDA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) were also present.

Participants discussed the urgent need to accelerate documentation efforts in the Gaza Strip. They further discussed the impact of the crisis on the action plans of the CSOs and the necessity of networking and coordination to deal with the emergent needs.

CSO representatives illustrated the efficient and prompt responses of their field workers to documentation, information and data collection efforts during the course of the conflict. Daily meetings and contact were keenly held between CSOs to coordinate efforts of documentation despite life-threatening challenges during the conflict. CSO representatives demonstrated the hardships facing the field workers in reaching out to all affected areas due to the incessant shelling and attacks.

Representatives added that documentation of injuries were still ongoing because they could not access hospital records until the mid-period of the war. Some severe cases were transferred to hospitals outside Gaza, where many victims lost their lives. Moreover, field workers had to face lengthy periods for each individual case in order to assess the cause of death and whether it was the result of an Israeli attack.

It is noteworthy that CSOs in Gaza made effective use of social media, not only to disseminate the documented facts, but to collect information. For example, partners stated that they received hundreds of reports on social media from residents of Shuja’aya who were the victims of human rights and international humanitarian law violations. Representatives documented this information and followed up with further documentation efforts to cross-check each individual case.

Partner CSOs urged the Secretariat to continue undertaking practical and rapid responses to CSO needs and concerns in light of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

At the end of the meeting, partners in Ramallah expressed their strong willingness to exchange information and data with existing partners in Gaza and increase the level of cooperation and scope of documentation for both the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

ENDS

Ramallah
Ras Al-Tahouneh ST, near Al-Muqata'a
Al-Bireh, Palestine
Phone: 02 297 4563/4
Fax: 02 297 4565
Email:
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Gaza
Tomouh Building (Jawwal), Al-Jala'
Gaza City, Palestine
Phone: 08 288 3115
Fax: 08 288 3114
Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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are those of the author(s) and do not
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Secretariat, Niras NATURA AB, Birzeit University,
or the donor governments.