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Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    July 06, 2020

    As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International is calling on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.

    On June 25, Amnesty International submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.

    “Israeli settlements violate international law and amount to war crimes. Companies which operate in the settlements are contributing to human rights violations and tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and crushing their basic rights,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    June 30, 2020

    The Israeli authorities must immediately abandon plans to further “annex” territory in the occupied West Bank which breach international laws and exacerbate decades of systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, Amnesty International said on the day the Israeli cabinet is due to begin its deliberations on the plans. 

    Amnesty International is also calling on the international community to take firm action against the “annexation” proposals and illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territory. 

    “International law is crystal clear on this matter – annexation is unlawful. Israel’s continued pursuit of this policy further illustrates its cynical disregard for international law. Such policies do not change the legal status of the territory under international law and its inhabitants as occupied nor remove Israel’s responsibilities as the occupying power – rather it points to the ‘law of the jungle’ which should not have a place in our world today,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy regional director for Amnesty Middle East and North Africa.

    June 25, 2020

    As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International is calling on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.

    With a sharp increase in settlement expansion underway, and persistent attacks on Palestinians and their properties by some Israeli settlers, it is more important than ever that companies do not further legitimize settlements by doing business in them.

    Amnesty International today submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.

    June 04, 2020

    The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

    Prime Minister of Canada

    80 Wellington Street

    Ottawa, Ontario

    K1A 0A2

    June 3, 2020

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are writing this Open Letter, on behalf of Amnesty International’s supporters across Canada and also reflective of the concerns of the entire global movement of Amnesty International, to urge you to take a much stronger position of unequivocal opposition to Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex a large part of the West Bank, land that is part of Occupied Palestinian Territory.  

    Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to finalize this in the coming weeks. Such a step would violate the UN Charter, jus cogens norms of international law, and international humanitarian legal obligations. It would certainly stand as well to deepen and exacerbate decades of severe and entrenched human rights violations against Palestinians living in the West Bank. It is urgent and vital for Canada to express firm, explicit and public condemnation of this move.

    June 01, 2020

    In February, the UN Human Rights Council released a long-awaited list of 112 companies actively involved in business activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    The list of 112 companies contained within the report refers to a wide range of sectors including construction, food, banks, retail and transport. Most are headquartered in Israel with more than a dozen headquartered internationally.

    “The publication of this list is a timely reminder that settlements are illegal and must never be normalized. Listed businesses have no excuse; to continue their involvement in Israeli settlements is to knowingly breach their international obligations,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Middle East Deputy director.

    May 12, 2020

    On December 20, 2019, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) concluded its preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine. In her official statement, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensoudaa confirms that pursuant to Articling 53(1) of the Statute, there is a “reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the Situation in Palestine”. In rendering her conclusion, Prosecutor Bensouda outlines the following position:

    January 28, 2020

    The Trump administration’s dismal package of proposals to violate international law and further strip Palestinians of their rights is a handbook for more suffering and abuses in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today.

    The organization urged the international community to reject measures contravening international law that are set out in President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”. These include a formal extension of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank in exchange for land currently inside Israel.

    January 16, 2020

    Responding to a decision by Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday to close the doors of the hearing of a legal action seeking to revoke the export licence of spyware firm NSO Group, Danna Ingleton, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech, said:

    “Israel’s Ministry of Defence has once again sought to avoid the full glare of public scrutiny. NSO Group’s chilling spyware has put the lives of human rights activists around the world in danger. There remains a clear public interest for this case to be heard in open court and we remain hopeful that information about the hearing will be shared with the public.

    “The cosy complicity between governments and the shadowy surveillance industry has to end.  We will continue to make every effort to ensure NSO Group’s invasive products can no longer be used to commit human rights abuses around the world.”

    Gil Naveh, spokesperson for Amnesty International Israel, added:

    August 19, 2019

    15 August 2019

    The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
    Minister of Health
    The Honourable James Carr 
    Minister of International Trade Diversification
    The Honourable David Lametti
    Minister of Justice and Attorney-General

    Re: Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – Israeli settlement products – Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement

    Dear Ministers Petitpas Taylor, Carr and Lametti:

    We write with an urgent request that the Canadian government not appeal the recent, important Federal Court decision – in Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – that goods imported into Canada from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must not be identified as “Products of Israel.” The ruling provides important human rights safeguards which we call on the government to accept and respect.

    July 31, 2019

    The Israeli authorities must urgently investigate death threats targeting three civil society organizations, including Amnesty International’s Israeli section in Tel Aviv, the organization’s International Secretariat said today.

    Anonymous death threats were sprayed last night outside the offices of Amnesty International Israel and ASSAF, an organization working to assist refugees and asylum-seekers in Israel. At the same time, a box containing death threats and a dead mouse was left at the entrance to the Elifelet Children’s Activity Center for refugees.

    “These are deplorable and malicious acts targeting civil society organizations carrying out human rights work. The Israeli authorities should take a strong stand by publicly condemning these acts and making clear that attacks against NGOs will not be tolerated,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. 

    July 30, 2019
    Bulldozer with TripAdvisor logo underneath it

    By Laith Abu Zeyad, Amnesty International campaigner on Israel/ Palestine

    On June 20, World Refugee Day, TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer published an op-ed urging businesses to help address the global refugee crisis and pledging to donate millions of dollars to humanitarian organisations "to support and help refugees rebuild their lives and reclaim their futures".

    This is, of course, a commendable initiative, if only it did not contradict in spirit other practices of the company. While TripAdvisor has decided to help refugees in certain parts of the world, elsewhere - namely in the occupied Palestinian territories - it is contributing to the suffering of the local population, which itself is the source of one of the world's largest refugee communities.

    July 23, 2019
    Key to the house of Mohammad Abu Nasser's family in the former village of Tel al-Saba.

    Amnesty International marked the 71st anniversary of the Nakba with “70 + Years of Suffocation”,  an online showcase of Palestinian refugees living in the OPT, Lebanon and Jordan who have shared their reality and experiences of being “stateless”. Award winning photographer, Tanya Habjouqa, has taken pictures that weave a relationship with the interviews, giving the reader visual context. 

    For over 50 years, Israel has been confiscating Palestinian land and bulldozing Palestinian homes with complete impunity. These lands are being used to build illegal settlements to house Israeli citizens, while Palestinians become homeless. 

    As Israel continues to suffocate the existence of Palestinians by controlling most aspects of their daily and private lives while attempting to present a reality void of its inhumane treatment of Palestinians, it’s more crucial than ever that Palestinians, the oldest and largest refugee group in the world, have platforms to be heard. 

    July 18, 2019

    Amnesty International has joined a legal case brought by Human Rights Watch (HRW) to challenge the legality of the Israeli government’s decision to revoke the work permit of its Israel and Palestine Director, the organization said today. is

    A ruling by the Jerusalem District Court confirming the authorities’ decision to expel Omar Shakir is an unreasonable and disproportionate restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and association, Amnesty International is arguing in an amicus curia briefing submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem today. The court is scheduled to hear the case on 25 July 2019.

    “The Israeli authorities’ decision to deport Omar Shakir is a crushing blow to freedom of expression in the country and sends an alarming signal to human rights activists and civil society in general of the extent they are willing to go in their attempt to silence those who defend human rights.” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    July 10, 2019
    	The Israeli government forcibly evicted hundreds of Palestinians to develop the ancient ruins of Susya/Susiya in the south of the West bank into a tourist attraction and settlement.

    Dear TripAdvisor employees,

    We are writing to ask you to join us in speaking out against TripAdvisor’s role in driving human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization, with more than seven million supporters and members globally. Through research and campaigning, we help ensure respect for people’s human rights and that those who violate them are held accountable. We also campaign for a world in which companies respect human rights and don’t contribute to, or profit from, human rights violations wherever they operate in the world.

    June 07, 2019

    June 2019 marks the 52nd anniversary of Israel’s capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during a war with its neighbours, and the beginning of its occupation of Palestinian territory. Today, over 600,000 Jewish-Israeli settlers are living on occupied Palestinian land and are afforded protections and benefits, of which over 4.9 million Palestinians living in the same territory do not have access to. This is the direct result of a discriminatory system of laws and policies that ensure that Palestinians are not afforded the same rights or services as Israeli settlers.

    For 52 years, hundreds of thousands of hectares of Palestinian land have been appropriated and exploited by Israel. For 52 years, tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), resulting in the displacement of thousands of Palestinians. The wanton destruction of property and the forcible transfer of civilians in the occupied territory are both war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 

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