Prime Minister Visits ICHR and Emphasizes on the Cooperation between ICHR and the Government to Document Israeli Human Rights Violations

Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, along with Council of Ministers' Secretary General Ali Abu Dweik visited the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) on 19 August 2014 to meet with Commissioner General Dr. Ahmad Harb, Executive Director Randa Siniora, and ICHR departments' directors. The visit was to learn about the role and work of ICHR during the current Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip. This includes the role of ICHR, as a national institution, in documenting human rights violations in the Gaza Strip and cooperating with the International Commission of Inquiry, which was formed by the United Nations in 23 June 2014, through providing the Commission with reports and information on war crimes committed by Israeli military forces against civilians in the Gaza Strip in order to purse and prosecute war criminals.

The Commissioner General expressed his appreciation to the Prime Minister considering his visit to ICHR a sign of the Palestinian government's concern to guarantee protection for human rights and to emphasize on the important role of ICHR in promoting the protection of human rights. Commissioner General emphasized that signing and ratifying Rome Statute by Palestine is an essential step to pursue and prosecute war criminals who committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Various issues were discussed related to the role of the Palestinian government in protecting Palestinian civilians from human rights violations. ICHR explained that the Palestinian National Unity Government could strengthen its role and its institutions and ministries in addition to taking responsibility in reconstructing Gaza and providing aid to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. ICHR added that it recognizes the obstacles and difficulties the Unity Government could face especially in the Gaza Strip as a result of the current Israeli military aggression and complex political situation in Palestine. ICHR Commissioner General clarified that after forming the National Unity Government, ICHR was not sure of the governmental reference points when discussing the status of human rights in Palestine.

Prime Minister praised and appreciated the role that ICHR plays as the national institution for human rights in Palestine and he assured that the President and the Palestinian government take the advice of ICHR, on issues related to human rights, into consideration. Prime Minister emphasized that this important cooperation between ICHR and the government should continue and be further strengthened. He also added that ICHR should continue to monitor and document human rights violations and war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank and report these violations to official and international institutions to put Israel under accountability.

Prime Minister explained that the Palestinian Authority is planning to organize an international conference to put an end to the Israeli occupation during a certain timeline and let the international community commit to their responsibilities towards the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This Israeli occupation should not continue and the Palestinian people should not continue to pay the price for being an occupied nation.