International day of solidarity with the Palestinian People - 29th November 2022

By Farah Caïdi / GICJ

This international day was established to mark the adoption of  Resolution 181, called the “partition resolution”. On the 29th of November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proposing the partition of Palestine into two States: a Jewish State and an Arab State. From this date, the two-state solution has been the paradigm through which the international community tries to resolve the Palestinian question. However, the historical context must be recalled, namely how the Zionist movement chose an inhabited State to establish their own State, with the help of the British empire. Adding to that, the promise of Palestinian independence officialised through the mandate of Palestine given to Britain in 1922 by the League of Nations made this two-state solution hard to accept for the majority of Palestinians and those supporting a dispassionate reading of regional history. 

Because to be forgotten is exactly what an oppressor wants, on this day we wish to recall that the fight for human rights is alive and will continue until justice is obtained. 

On this occasion, GICJ would like to address the main events that marked Palestinian resistance in the territory of Palestine and across the world, as well as GICJ’s contribution to their cause over the last year. 

November / December 2021- The end of a violent year 

The end of 2021 saw the end of a particularly violent year with the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip following the tension in East Jerusalem. The bombings on the Gaza Strip and escalating violence were the gravest since 2014. This outbreak of violence was symbolic of the tension being at its peak after increased pressure and restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities on access to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound during the holy month of Ramadan. Added to that were multiple eviction orders of Sheikh Jarrah inhabitants. Both of these events saw an intensifying wave of worldwide international solidarity, with demonstrations that rallied a high number of persons in many major cities. 

Social media held a crucial role in that period, enabling Palestinians to document Israeli violations and thus binding people together when the coverage from regular media was not forthcoming. 

Two siblings stood out as being the spokespersons of Sheikh Jarrah. Muna Al Kurd and Mohammed Al Kurd were relaying information on the situation in the neighbourhood as well as the violence in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and at the gates of Jerusalem old city, especially at the Damascus gate (Bab Al Amoud). 

Showing the significance of their presence and actions, one of the siblings, Mohammed al Kurd was invited to speak at the General Assembly on the anniversary of the 2021 international day of solidarity with Palestinian people. 



January / February  2022 - The year starts strong and shows no ending sign of demolitions and occupation

2022 started symbolically with the forced eviction of the Salhiyya family from their two adjacent houses. The 15-member Salhiyya family, included an older woman and young child who had been living in Sheikh Jarrah for nearly 40 years, according to UNRWA.

This was one of the families of Sheikh Jarrah who had resisted eviction orders and whose resistance sparked the flames of solidarity across Palestine in 2021, and the unfortunate violence in Gaza. Two days before demolishing Mr. Salhiyya’s house, Israeli forces demolished his business as well.

Tensions continued to increase in the West Bank as pressure from Israeli authorities to demolish houses in different cities did not stop. Other families were at risk of losing their homes and businesses after eviction orders were issued. Significant footage was revealed of testimonies of families deciding to demolish their own houses in order to not pay extra fees. At the beginning of the year, 79 Palestinian-owned structures were already being reported demolished by Israeli authorities. 


March 2022 - Arrest of French Palestinian lawyer, Salah Hammouri 

The arrest of a French Palestinian lawyer, Salah Hammouri on the 10th of March 2022, and his sentencing to four months’ detention without trial highlights the other battle of Israeli authorities to weaken civil society and human rights organisations.

Salah Hammouri was actively working with the Addameer organisation, one of the organisations designated by Israel as being a terrorist organisations in October 2021, for allegedly collaborating with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a claim on which Israel has not yet provided any evidence. Salah Hammouri was also accused of being a member of the PFLP and of being a threat to security. His administrative detention was renewed in June. 


 Source: Addameer website - Salah Hammouri 


April 2022 - Attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque compound and breach of the "Status Quo"

Dangerously echoing the 2021 escalation of violence the previous year, tensions around Al Aqsa Mosque compound in April 2022, during the month of Ramadan, were significant as they were fueled by Israeli authorities encouraging and protecting mass prayers from Israeli settlers inside the compound. 

However, this constitutes a breach of international law as the Al Aqsa Mosque compound is under the “Status Quo” regime and  managed by the Jordanian Waqf (public good management). The Treaty of Berlin in 1872 recognized the status quo of the Holy sites in Jerusalem, “It is well understood that no alteration can be made to the status quo in the holy places.”, whether it is christian, jews or Muslims religious holy places. These rules were established under the Ottoman empire before being crystalised in the Berlin treaty and are considered binding in international law, not least because of the century of practise referring to the existence of the rules. 

Therefore, no prayers other than the Muslim ones can be performed inside Al Aqsa compound. Such rules can be found in other holy places from other monotheism.

After the 1967 illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, including East-Jerusalem, Israel passed a law considering Jerusalem as their capital: the BASIC-LAW: JERUSALEM THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL (Originally adopted in 5740-1980). This provoked reactions from international community as they condemned this move, reminding them of the obligations of the occupying power in the UN Security Council UNSC Resolution 478 that: “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular, the recent ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void.”

In a context where settlers are becoming more and more violent in the OPT, especially in the West Bank, under the protection of IDF soldiers, Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Holy compound unfortunately remains more than ever a source of tension. 


May/June/July 2002 - Settlers expansion and escalation of violence

  • Shireen Abu Akleh's murder

The 11th of May 2022 tragically marked the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and the attack on the team of journalists with her that day by IDF forces. 

Following this attack on a prominent figure of journalism, having dual American and Palestinian nationality,  numerous stakeholders in Palestine and UN experts warned about the escalation of violence from Israel on Palestinians. 

Lack of accountability of Israeli forces was again highlighted as the investigation conducted by the IDF asserted at first that the bullet came from a Palestinian, but then later argued that the forensic investigation was unconclusive. 

Attack on the funeral procession of Shireen Abu Akleh

  • Settlements' expansion

A report released by the United Nations Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA) counted 928 people having been displaced since 31st of December 2021 until the day of publishing, a 31% increase on previous figures. 

Live data's update on the OHCA Website

  • The work of the Commission of Inquiry on the OPT, including East Jerusalem and in Israel 

A Commission of Inquiry on the OPT, including East Jerusalem and in Israel was established on the 27th of May 2021, during the Special Session convened by the Human Rights Council after recent incidents in Palestine. The Commission has the mission to investigate all human rights violations leading up and since 13 April 2021. It is the mandate of the Commission to investigate as well the “underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity”. 

In May 2022, the first report of the Commission identified "forced displacement, threats of forced displacement, demolitions, settlement construction and expansion, settler violence, and the blockade of Gaza as contributing factors to recurring cycles of violence".

The report recalls that Israel is an occupying power in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza. The occupation is a de facto situation and must be temporary. This was legally enacted in  Resolution 242 of the 22nd of November 1967 in which the Security Council called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from “territories occupied in the recent conflict”. 

The three areas (A, B and C) established during the Oslo accords were to be gradually handed over to the Palestinians. However, this was never fully respected. In addition, Israel has full control of Area C that represents 60% of the West Bank. Not only does Israel possess full control, but it facilitates the ever-increasing expansion of settlements in the zone. 

These settlements built in those areas are therefore illegal under international law. The transfer, directly or indirectly of its own civilian population into the territory that it occupies is considered a war crime under the Rome Statute

To conclude, the Commission’s report found  that “the key findings and recommendations linked to the underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict have not been implemented, and that this lack of implementation is at the heart of the systemic recurrence of violations of Palestinian rights in the OPT”.  


August 2022 - Civil society and Human Rights organisations under threat

  • Designation of organisations as terrorist and crack-down on human rights organisations offices: 

On the 19th of October 2021, the Israeli Minister of Defence designated six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organizations as terrorist organizations, accusing them of acting as arms of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and receiving funding from it.

During August, Israeli forces cracked down on these organisations, closing their offices, confiscating and damaging  their material


  • Read our contribution here:

  • Expulsion of UN experts and refusal to grant them visa:

At the end of August, the High Commissioner Michele Bachelet denounced Israel’s refusal to grant visas to UN experts. She recalled the expulsion of 15 experts in 2020 although OHCHR had worked in the territory for 26 years

The High Commissioner condemned the situation that “subsequent requests for visas and visa renewals have gone unanswered for two years. During this time, I have tried to find a solution to this situation, but Israel continues to refuse to engage.”

She recalled that the UN recorded the highest number of incidents of settler violence since recording began in 2017, and noted that arrests of Palestinians had doubled. More than 111 Palestinians have been killed in the West bank so far this year, making it the deadliest since 2006

Additionally, she denounced the 56 demolition orders against schools where at least 6,400 children were being taught in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 


September / October 2022 - GICJ contribution to the HRC51 regarding Palestine

GICJ made multiple oral interventions at the Human Rights Council 51st Session, particularly under the General Debate Item 7 on Palestine. 

GICJ urges the international community to end Israeli's impunity concerning collective punishments:

Israeli "peaceful democracy" and its failure to apply to Palestinian:

GICJ calls for the end of extrajudicial executions of Palestinian and accountability:

  • Commission of Inquiry 2nd report: 

The second report of the Commission of Inquiry on the OPT including East Jerusalem and Israel, released in September 2022 described settler violence as a “key manifestation of the coercive environment, with incidents increasing in number and severity over the years”. The report highlighted that there were 398 settler attacks in the West Bank between January and July 2022. In comparison, 2021 counted 496 attacks and 358 attacks in 2020.

In this intensifying of violence, children are not spared. 2021 being one of the deadliest for children in recent years, 2022 is regrettably following closely behind. 

Significant amidst this are the numerous arbitrary arrests of young boys after a wave of resistance mounted in the West Bank, notably in Nablus. This resistance comes from armed groups, composed of young men. In consequence, Palestinian young boys across the West Bank saw an increase of violence and arbitrary arrests, even amongst those not linked at all to the armed groups. 

In respect of one pertinent case GICJ tried to help shed light on the peculiar circumstances concerning Shadi Khoury’s, a 16 year old boy's violent arbitrary arrest and detention at the beginning of November.


  • Read our contributions here:



November 2022 - Public Hearings held by the Commission of Inquiry on the OPT

  • Public Hearings 

From the 7th to the 11th of November, the Commission of Inquiry held a week of Public hearings. The Commission interrogated civil society members focusing on the closure orders and terrorism designations of a number of Palestinian human rights organisations as well as the incident surrounding the killing of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Being denied access to Palestine territory by Israel, the Commission must be applauded at finding a creative way in which to continue their investigations. 


  • Read our contributions here: 

Public hearings of the Palestinian society start this week, it will focus on the closure orders of NGOs and the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

  • Resolution passed requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ

On the 11th of November, the decolonisation committee voted in favour of a resolution asking for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The resolution was called “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”. This resolution was passed with 98 in favour to 17 against, with 52 abstentions. It needs a final vote by the General Assembly by the end of the year to be fully enacted. 

Finally, November has been a fruitful month for Palestinian’s demands of Israel’s accountability as news of a US investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder broke  on the 14th of November 2022. Shireen was a US citizen, and an independent US investigation in the matter is the least that could be expected, especially when Israel proved unable to provide a transparent and comprehensive investigation. 


  • Read our contribution: 


Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) reiterates once again that the Palestine / Israel question won’t be solved without accountability for Israel’s violations of international law, specifically humanitarian and human rights law. As emphasised by the latest UN reports from the Commission of Inquiry, recalling previous reports and investigative work by international bodies, impunity and perpetual occupation are the root causes of escalating tensions and violence. Therefore, the cycle of violence can only be broken when impunity is no more. 

Until then, Palestinian civil society, stakeholders and everyone seeking truth and justice will continue to fight for accountability. As recalled many times before, there can’t be peace without justice. 

Palestine, International day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Impunity, Settlements, demolitions, 2022, GICJ, Geneva International Centre for Justice


1- (resolution 181 (II))

2- UNRWA condemns demolition of Palestinian home in East Jerusalem | UN News

3- CoI report, May 2022:

4- Under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 ICC Statute: 

5- Israeli suppression of Palestinian rights organizations ‘illegal and unacceptable’ | UN News


7- Visa refusal for UN human rights staff in Palestine part of wider ‘worrying trend’: Bachelet | UN News

8- 2022 Among Deadliest Years for Palestinians in West Bank, Middle East Peace Process Coordinator Tells Security Council.


10- A/C.4/77/L.12/Rev.1

11- Fourth Committee, Concluding Its Work, Approves Six Draft Resolutions, Including Request for ICJ Opinion on Israeli Occupation - occupied Palestinian territory | ReliefWeb 

12- Shireen Abu Akleh’s family welcome news of US investigation

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