On the 20th March the Palestinian Return Centre delivered an oral statement during the General Debate on Item 7 in the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The PRC’s oral statement highlighted the ongoing system of Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid and military occupation imposed upon the Palestinian people.
PRC welcomed the release of the of the database of all business enterprises engaged in activities related to the Israeli settlements in the OPT in accordance with Human Rights Council Resolution 31/36. However, PRC remains concerned at the efforts by Member States to not implement this resolution and we call for the full list of firms included in the database to be published without further delay.
Further, the statement condemned the recent decision by the United States to unilaterally declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to withdraw funding from UNRWA. (full statement available to watch here http://webtv.un.org/search/item7-general-debate-44th-meeting-37th-regular-session-human-rights-council-/5754554002001/?term=&lan=english&cat=Meetings%2FEvents&page=2# )
At 4pm on the same day, the PRC hosted a side-event on the margins of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The event was titled “Israel’s settler colonial policies and the challenges on Palestinian refugees” and was attended by representatives of Member States, UN agencies and NGOs.
The first speaker was Basil Farraj, who is PhD candidate in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute, and a research assistant at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peace building. His presentation was titled “Incarceration within and outside prison walls: an entrenched settler-colonial policy”
Next Ghada Al Rayan, Legal Researcher at Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor discussed the “decline of UNRWA services and its consequences for Palestinian refugees”.
Third speaker Pietro Stefanini, Researcher and Advocacy Coordinator at the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) discussed the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip under the titled “Normalizing the Siege: the UN sponsored Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM)”.
Lastly Maya Hammad, Regional Researcher based in Jordan for the Palestinian Return Centre, joined the meeting through a video-link presentation to present recent research for an upcoming report titled focusing on the “Stateless Gazan Refugees Displaced in Jordan”.