Monday, November 30, 2020

Palestine becomes a member of Arab League’s Human Rights Committee

By K. Künzl - October 09, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Human rights]

On October 4, Palestine gained membership to the Human Rights Committee of the Arab League, a monumental move since its admission to the League in 1976.

The State of Palestine will be represented by Legal Adviser Majdi Hardan from the Ministry of Justice and, as membership requires, report on human rights abuses.

For Palestine, this will be a vital outlet to expose violations of rights committed by Israeli forces under occupation to the world stage.

Elected members of the committee serve for a term of four years as long as they receive nine votes in favour of their inclusion.

Along with 21 other members, The Arab League was founded in 1945 to promote economic growth and social stability among mainly Arabic speaking countries across Africa and the Middle East. 

Despite internal divisions, members have consistently been unified in backing Palestinians under Israeli occupation; the economic boycott of Israel from 1948 to 1993 saw almost total support. 

The Human Rights Committee was then developed as a branch of the Arab League, to ensure members compliance and implementation of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, adopted at a League summit in 2004.  

The Committee has been scrutinised in the past due to its lack of enforcement mechanisms and representation of human rights experts and is repeatedly called out by CSOs to amend the charter to international human rights law standards. 

However, in recent years members have been more vocal. Most notably, earlier this year Ahmed Aboul Gheit, head of the Arab League, outspokenly warned that there would be no Mideast peace deal without a Palestinian state. 

“What is acceptable from our side as Arabs as a solution is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital…..If (Israel) chooses the only reasonable and accepted way from our side as Arabs, which is the establishment of a Palestinian state ... it will be accepted in the region as a normal regional partner,” Gheit stated at a foreign minister's meeting in June. 

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