International Criminal Court (ICC):
On 1 July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, Netherlands, will officially come into force following ratification by more than 60 states. The ICC will be a permanent international tribunal that will try individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The ICC will have jurisdiction over crimes committed by the nationals of governments that ratify the treaty, or in the territories of governments that ratify.
Refugees Invite US Secretary of State to Visit Jenin Refugee Camp: Following Israel's massive assault on the Jenin refugee camp in April refugee women and children from the camp issued a public invitation to US Secretary of State Colin Powell to visit the camp and see the destruction. The invitation was published in al-Quds newspaper in Jerusalem and distributed to all representatives of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in Israel/Palestine. Sanctions/Boycott Campaign Update : The grassroots campaign for a boycott of Israeli products continues to pick up support around the world, especially after the brutal military assault on Jenin refugee camp and throughout the 1967 occupied territories in April 2002. Solidarity committees in Europe have produced and disseminated flyers about the boycott in supermarkets and report that, in general, public response is positive.
Community and International Mobilization
Nakba Day 2002:
Nakba memorials of the Palestinian community in Israel start traditionally on the day Israel celebrates its independence day according to the Hebrew calendar. On 17 April 2002, Palestinians inside Israel organized collective visits to several depopulated Palestinian villages, among them Suhmata (Upper Galilee), Miska (Southern Triangle), and Umm al-Zeinat (in the Carmel Mountain). Around 7,000 people participated in the fifth Al-Awda (Return) March from the Acre-Safad intersection to the depopulated village of al-Birwa (near Acre). Participants raised the names of the destroyed Palestinian villages and banners demanding the right of return for internally displaced Palestinians and refugees in exile. Other slogans called for the end of Israel's military occupation and Sharon's war crimes committed against Palestinian towns and refugee camps.
1. CESCR Concluding Observations, 26th Session, HR/4562, 31 August 2001
The Committee deplored the State party's refusal to report on the occupied territories and the State party's position that the Covenant did not apply to "areas that are not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction". It rejected the State party's assertion regarding the distinction between human rights and humanitarian law under international law to support its argument that the Committee's mandate "cannot relate to events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank." The Committee reminded the State party that also in times of armed conflict, fundamental human rights should be respected and that basic economic, social and cultural rights as part of the minimum standards of human rights were guaranteed under customary international law and were also prescribed by international humanitarian law.
BADIL Information Packet (3rd Edition) - Includes Right of Return, Campaign for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights Brochure, Palestinian Refugees in Exile Country Profiles, and BADIL Information & Discussion Briefs. (English & Arabic)
The Packet is also available on the BADIL website.
Follow-Up Information Submitted to the Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Regarding the Committee's 1998 "Concluding Observations", Regarding Israel's Serious Breaches of its Obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, for the 13 November 2000 Convening of the Committee, With Special Documentary Annex (Prepared by
Dr. Salman Abu Sitta), Quantifying Land Confiscation inside the
Green Line.(English and Arabic), 65 pages
Massacre: One of Many
When the massacre of Sabra and Shatila was committed I was not yet born. I got to know it through my questions about the miserable life we lead in the camp, in Shatila. I am a fourteen-year-old girl now. I, like all children in Shatila, never enjoyed my childhood, we never felt secure, we never smiled except a refugee smile which lasts for few seconds and is all the time just drawn on our faces and does not stem from our hearts. I grew up in Shatila and my parents told me about Shatila's wound, a wound that will stay in my heart forever, they told me about the massacre. I knew from the stories told by the survivors that thousands of our people were massacred in the cruelest ways and in cold blood. Darkness overshadowed Shatila for three days; three days of death, torture, fear and horror. We were told that Israel with its allies in Lebanon committed the massacre. That is how Ariel Sharon became familiar to me.
"One Year after the al-Aqsa Intifada: Increasing Needs & Decreasing Contributions"
Over the past 12 months, Israel's military attackson Palestinian civilians and economic siege of the occupied territories has placed hundred's of thousands of Palestinians in need of emergency assistance, including employment, food, cash, and shelter assistance. The number of households reporting receipt of assistance continues to rise. As of June 2001, some 57% of all households surveyed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that they were receiving some form of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 80% of all Palestinian households, however, reported that they were in need of assistance.
List of 149 Palestinian victims of Israeli violence between 27 June and 26 September 2001. 22 of those killed were below the age of 18. Between 29 September 2000 and 29 September 2001, over 700 Palestinians were killed by Israeli military forces and settlers, including Palestinians inside Israel, and over 16,100 were injured. During the month of September, for example, the Palestine Red Crescent recorded the highest number of deaths per month since
December 2000 while the injuries per month from live ammunition during August and September (36%) exceeded the monthly rate from the last 12 months. The highest monthly rate prior to the summer was 28% in December 2000.
A Framework for Durable Solutions
"Putting the Principles into Action"
The first detailed public indication from thePalestinian leadership of how the right of return, restitution, and compensation might be
implemented was revealed in draft plan published in late summer 2001 by Le Monde Diplomatique. The draft plan, presented by Palestinian negotiators at the talks in Taba, Egypt, in January 2001, essentially marks a transition from clarifying principles to putting the principles into action.
The plan, which is based on international law and UN Resolution 194, addresses the issue of moral and legal responsibility for the forced displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian civilian population in 1948 and provides a broad and clear definition of those covered by the plan (i.e., who constitutes a Palestinian refugee). The plan calls for the creation of three mechanisms to implement return, restitution, and compensation and then outlines the modalities for the implementation of these three rights. Mechanisms include a Repatriation Commission, a Compensation Commission, and an International Fund.
The Palestinian Right of Return in European Middle East Policy
The European Union
"On hearing the title of my chapter, a friend of mine burst out laughing, 'But there is nothing to say. The European Union has never taken a clear stand on the right of return of refugees,'" recounts French journalist Alain Gresh.(1) "The European Union certainly has taken a stand on the national rights of the Palestinians, on settlement policy, Jerusalem, the creation of the Palestinian state and Israel's right to security, but any references to refugees were vague and the term 'right of return' was never used. I was on the point of giving up when I stumbled, almost by chance, on a text dated 1971 known as the 'Schumann document,' named after Maurice Schumann, the French Foreign Minister at the time, under President Georges Pompidue."
A year earlier, in 1970, the European Community, then composed of only six member states, had launched an initiative for European Political Cooperation, which provided for regular consultations on important foreign policy issues in order to "strengthen their solidarity by favoring harmonization of points of view, concerted attitudes and, wherever possible and desirable, common actions." This initiative marked the beginning of a process aimed at clarifying common strategic interests and unifying foreign policy on the European level, especially with regard to regional and international crises that might jeopardize economic and political stability in Europe itself.