5.10.2019, Ramallah – Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law has concluded a four-days international law orientation course for diplomatic staff and employees of international organizations currently in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The course was held at the Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law in Ramallah, on 30 September - 3 October, 2019, and was attended by 30 participants from different countries representing diplomatic missions and international organizations working in the OPT.
The orientation course included presentations by Al-Haq legal professionals and partner organizations including Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association and BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights on key legal issues in regards to the OPT, both organization gave valuable input on some recent trends witnessed by their work and updated the group on some of the recent violations in regards to Palestinian prisoners and refugees. The sessions also included input on international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) and their applications, in addition to an introduction to business and human rights, an innovative topic investigated by Al-Haq which seeks to challenge the relationship between business interests and the policies of the Israeli Occupying Power, which exploits the prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory for the benefit of Israeli and other transnational corporations.
The course also involved two field visits; to the old city of Hebron (H2), in which the situation on the ground was examined closely in light of human rights violations that were witnessed and documented by Al-Haq. The second field visit was organized in the Jordan Valley, in which forcible transfer and access to natural recourses by Palestinians were observed especially in Ein Ras Al Ouja, Al Ouja water spring and Al Jiftlik community. In Al Jiftlik the group visited a house that was demolished in 2017 and a date farm owned by Palestinian farmers, including its primal packaging house. At the end of the visit to the Jordan Valley, the group did a quick stop by an Israeli packaging house. This was an opportunity for professionals to enhance their understanding of the OPT legal context, impact of occupation and settlement presence and expansion policies on the human rights situation, and expand their knowledge on the applicability of the different international legal frameworks applied in the OPT and some of the key violations taking place.
The course addressed the human rights situation locally, and the violation committed by the local Palestinian Authorities and examined the situation of the judiciary and the performance of the Supreme Court of Justice. Looking at human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority, Al-Haq focused on arbitrary detentions and arrests in addition to violations on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Advocate Sahar Francis, head of Addameer presented the situation of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, and how the Israeli military judicial system is applied. Lubna Shomali from Badil talked in details about the refugees situation and the coercive environment in the OPT. Palestinian refugees constitute one of the largest and longest-standing unresolved refugee groups in the world today.
Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law specializes in the practical application of international law and aims to combine theory and practice to enhance the capabilities of human rights defenders by providing them with essential applied knowledge for defending human rights issues at the national, regional and international levels.
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