NO: 104 / 2019
Date: 5 Dec 2019
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Committee (ICSPR) examines ways to harmonize the Disabled Persons Act 1999 with the International Convention
Occupied Palestine / Gaza: The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) and the network of bodies representing persons with disabilities organized today, Thursday, 5 December / 2019, a workshop entitled: “The suitability of the Disability Law of 1999 with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, with the participation of human rights defenders, journalists, and youth activists, at the headquarters of the Commission in Gaza City.
Journalist Guevara Taha opened the meeting welcoming the guests, stressing the importance of this meeting, which comes on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
On his part, Zarif Al-Ghra, head of the network of bodies representing people with disabilities, greeted all persons with disabilities, stressing that they were, are and will remain in the covenant as guardians of the rights of people with disabilities and advocate for their just causes and demands, calling for the need to remove all barriers before them without prejudice to all their rights
Al-Ghra emphasized that the number of people with disabilities in Palestine until 2017 reached 255,000, including 127 thousand in the Gaza Strip, pointing to the increase in their numbers due to the occupation army’s attacks on the participants in the Return Marches, which led to an increase in their numbers.
He stressed the need for the Disabled Persons Law No. 4 of 1999, issued by the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and containing 4 chapters and 20 articles, to be compatible with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In turn, Muhammad al-Arabi, director of the shadow project for the International Convention for the Disabled, spoke about shadow reports, which are considered one of the mechanisms for protecting human rights, prepared by civil society organizations and submitted to contractual bodies, and it is a parallel report to the state’s report, stressing it is a monitoring tool aimed at respecting human dignity on the part of duty-holders in the state.
In turn, Salah Abd Al-Atti, Chiarman of ICSPR, affirmed that the human rights situation in Palestine is not good, due to the practices of the Israeli occupation, which has been persistently using lethal force against the Palestinians, which has caused harm and raised the percentage of people with disabilities, whether in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank or Jerusalem.
He stressed the need for the Legislative Council to play its role in monitoring the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, in addition to the necessity for coordination and cooperation between ministries and the carrying out of their tasks, noting that we need the participation of people with disabilities in the political system and in decision-making.
He concluded his speech, calling on the National Authority in Ramallah to stop the policy of cutting the salaries of martyrs, the wounded and those with disabilities, and to respect Palestinian law.
At the end of the workshop, the discussion was opened among the participants, and they recommended that the National Authority in Ramallah should review its decision to cut the salaries of about 1,100 wounded, 400 prisoners, and 1668 martyrs in Gaza, and to immediately stop all violations that the Israeli occupation forces carry out against them.