PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi met with representatives from Human Rights Watch (HRW), including Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division Sarah Leah Whitson and Israel/Palestine Director Sari Bashi, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.
Ashrawi expressed appreciation for HRW’s valuable efforts in exposing Israel’s violations of international law and human rights.
During the meeting, Ashrawi explained the importance of the International Criminal Court opening an official and speedy investigation into the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in Palestine.
She said, “Israel’s impunity must end. Even under occupation, as Palestinians we abide by all of our commitments and obligations, particularly in relation to international norms, conventions and charters to which we acceded.”
Both parties reviewed a recent HRW report titled, “Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights,” which sends an important message to businesses worldwide that investments and partnerships with the illegal settlement enterprise would render both the company and/or individual liable to judicial accountability
The discussion also focused on the state of forensics in Palestine and the need for both a structural and organizational support to ensure that Palestinians have reliable scientific information and evidence to support their efforts in seeking international judicial accountability for Israel’s violations.
In addition to exploring opportunities to strengthen their mutual cooperation and coordination, both parties examined legal measures to guarantee equal civil and political rights for all, while focusing on ways to end Israel’s prolonged military occupation.