AL-HAQ PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 August 2005
2004 marked Al-Haqs 25th anniversary as a Palestinian non-governmental organization working towards the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In the organizations anniversary report, Waiting for Justice, Al-Haq covers violations of human rights by the Israeli authorities based on first hand information gathered by its fieldworkers from eyewitnesses and victims of human rights violations. In addition to a 25 year retrospective of Al-Haq, the remaining chapters of the report provide in depth legal analysis of the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law taking place in the OPT. The issues addressed include property destruction, movement restrictions, family unification, settlement expansion and the continued construction of the Annexation Wall.
Many of these issues are not new. A number of the human rights violations highlighted in the report predate 2004, constituting violations of the rights of the Palestinian civilian population in the OPT for decades. Since its establishment in 1979, Al-Haq has documented a systematic pattern of Israeli violations over the years; many of these breaches having worsened since the beginning of the current intifada.
2004 witnessed a number of well-publicised political and legal developments affecting the region, most notably the landmark Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the construction of the Wall in the West Bank, and the announcement of the Gaza Disengagement Plan. Nevertheless, as Waiting for Justice makes clear, Israeli authorities have continued to systematically violate Palestinians human rights and to create additional facts on the ground, including the continued construction of the Annexation wall in defiance of international law.
In line with ICJs unequivocal finding that the international community must not recognise the resulting illegal situation, Al-Haq has repeatedly called upon the international community to support its words by concrete action. Waiting for Justice reiterates this demand. Al-Haq seeks the beginning of justice through the end of occupation, and the realization of Palestinians right to self determination. As UN Secretary General Kofi Annan noted during a statement to the UN General Assembly on 21 September 2004, legality should not be dictated by the powerful. He added:
The victims of violence and injustice are waiting; they notice when we use words to mask inaction. They notice when laws that should protect them are not applied.
Al-Haq believes that it is time that the international community answered the most fundamental of questions: how much longer must the Palestinians wait before their fundamental rights under international law are upheld?
The full report is available on our website at: http://asp.alhaq.org/zalhaq/site/books/files/Annual%20Report%20Combo.pdf
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