Sourani meets with Finnish Minister of International Cooperation, reviews human rights situation in Palestine 29Jun13 June 29, 2013

Palestine News Network    -     28 June 2013

finnish-minister-for-international-development-ms-heidi-hautala_340_220On Wednesday, 26 June 2013, Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), met with Ms. Heidi Hautala, Finnish Minister of International Cooperation, and an accompanied delegation comprised of: Ms. Prirko-Liisa Kyostila, Director of the Department for Development Policy; the Head of the Representative Office of Finland to the Palestinian Authority; and assisting staff, PCHR said in a press release.

The meeting was attended also by Ms. Yasmeen al-Khudari, a Palestinian blogger, and Ms. Hiba al-Zayan, an analyst of UN Empowerment and Gender Equality.

Sourani first thanked the Finnish Minister for her visit to the Gaza Strip, her interest in the human rights situation in Palestine and the constant and clear positions of the Finnish government towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He then reviewed the human rights situation in Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip, condemning the institutionalization of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip for several years as a form of collective punishment, and its impact on the human, social and economic conditions of about 2 million Palestinians.

Sourani also addressed the lack of accountability against suspected Israeli war criminal for war crimes and crimes against humanity they commit, stressing that none of the Israeli security, military or political officials has been held accountable, so the international community is required to activate the principle of universal jurisdiction and the International Criminal Court to ensure that Israel and its leaders are held accountable.

He further reviewed the human rights situation in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, considering that the Israeli policies there constitute a new more brutal and bloodier apartheid, and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in Jerusalem. He also considered settlement Israeli activities in the West Bank serious, calling on Europe to take a practical political position towards this crime.

Sourani also talked about women’s rights in the Gaza Strip, and the suffering of women and the youth at many levels.

In the end, Sourani discussed the internal situation and addressed practices of the two governments in Gaza and Ramallah, highlighting the disastrous impact of the Palestinian political split.

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