Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)

In Their Own Words: Gaza's Farmers and Fishers Speak Out

In this remarkable video, the Gaza branch of Grassroots International partner the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, documents the plight of fishers and farmers in the Gaza Strip. This video is a testament to Palestinians’ commitment to their land and livelihoods despite overwhelming Israeli military pressure to give up. Palestinian farmers and fishers continuously risk their lives by pursuing their craft amidst the Israeli blockade of Gaza. For them giving up their way of life, and a means to sustain their families, is not an option. 

Advances on the Journey to Food Sovereignty and Human Rights

This last year has seen many advances around the globe for communities and activists pushing to regain their fundamental human rights to land, water, and food.  As we now approach the end of 2013, we take this opportunity a look back at some of the accomplishments that have marked the year.  In spite of the great challenges—and seemingly insurmountable odds—there is much to celebrate.  Below are some of many highlights from the last year.

Winning land for formerly landless farmers in Brazil

"Why Did They Kill My Family?" -- Testimony from a survivor of Israeli Operation Cast Lead

The narrative below is the third in a series of three stories documented by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Grassroots International partner since 1996. PCHR has gained an international reputation as an independent voice on human rights documenting abuses carried out by both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.  Raji Sourani, the founder and director of PCHR, recently received the Right Livelihood Award (known as the Alternative Nobel Prize).  The PCHR documents human rights violations, provides legal aid to victims, advocates for greater economic and social rights, and, in particular, defends the rights of Gaza fishers who are routinely denied access to their fishing waters by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Palestinian NGOs Issue Statement Condemning World Bank-sponsored Red-Dead Sea Canal

The $10-billion proposed canal would divert water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in an effort to save the later from “environmental degradation.” The project is a partnership between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Grassroots International partners the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Stop the Wall are among the signatories to the statement below that calls for a halt to the project. Palestinian organizations cite both political and environmental reasons for their calls to stop this water and land grab that would impede Palestinian rights.

Homes and Lives Shattered in Palestine – the story of Mahmoud Nimer al-Bahtetee

The narrative below is the second in a series of three stories documented by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Grassroots International partner since 1996.

The Sound of the Drone – Testimonial from a survivor of Operation “Pillar of Cloud”

The narrative below is the first in a series of three stories documented by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Grassroots International partner since 1996.

Palestinian Human Rights Defender Receives the Alternative Nobel Prize

It is with tremendous pride and admiration that Grassroots International shares the news that Raji Sourani, director of our partner the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), has won the 2013 Right Livelihood Award, often called the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Sourani was granted the award for “unwavering dedication to the rule of law and human rights under exceptionally difficult circumstances.” The award honors and elevates the status of the careful, thorough, and utterly crucial work of Mr. Sourani and PCHR to document human rights abuses and offer legal support and advocacy to the victims of violations of International Law.

Defending Palestinian Human Rights

Globally, activists at the forefront of human rights protection are coming under increased scrutiny and attack by state and non-state actors. Although being a human rights defender is becoming dangerous work, the commitment to human rights promotion and defense amongst activist has not waned. Nowhere is this truer than in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), where our partners have had their offices raided and equipment confiscated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Gaza’s Civilians under Attack

The toll Operation Pillar of Defense (Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew) is taking on Gaza’s population is unimaginable to most Americans, but Twitter is changing that. As information flows from Gaza City, Beit Hanoun, and Khan Younis the pain, suffering, and senseless death of innocent men, women, and children cannot be denied. More than half of the 105 Palestinians killed during the last seven days of this operation have been civilians, including children.

Message from Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Operation Pillar of Defense (Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew) is once again destroying Gaza missile by missile, building by building. Our partner Raji Sourani, the director of Palestinian Center for Human Rights, sees history repeating itself with each civilian casualty. As he makes clear in a recent article on Al-Jazeera (posted below), the world is standing by while scores of civilians lose their lives, Gazans human rights are violated and community infrastructure is destroyed.