Al-Marsad- Arab Human Rights Centre in Golan Heights
|In their own words||An independent, not-for-profit, international legal human rights organisation that operates in the Occupied Syrian Golan. The organisation was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Majdal Shams.|
- According to Al-Marsad the organization aims “to establish a modern and efficient institution that struggles against war, colonialism and occupation” by “attempting to document human rights violations perpetrated by Israel (the occupying power) against civilians…[such as] expulsion of the native Syrian population (ethnic cleansing), the control of land and water by Israel, separated families, settlement expansion, annexation.”
- Al-Marsad accuses Israel of the “forcible transfer” of native Syrians from their homes in the Golan and calls for “ending the occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories occupied in 1967, in accordance with international law and resolutions.”
- Claims that since 1967, “Israel continues not only to occupy the Syrian Golan but to also destroy its ancient ruins and geopolitical atmosphere for the sole purpose of cleansing the Golan of its Syrian people and their history.”
- Calls for “a boycott of Israeli products originating from settlements in the occupied Golan.” The group also supports the EU decision to label products from Israeli communities built over the “Green Line” and claims that “illegal imports of settlement products into the EU must come to an end quickly and immediately.”
- In July 2016, Al-Marsad published a report “Water is Life” in which it accused Israel of allowing settlers to “exploit a disproportionate amount of the local water resources” and implementing “policies that discriminate greatly against the indigenous Arab population of the Golan.”
- The report lists industries and businesses that work in the Golan, including May Eden and the Golan Heights Winery, and claim that they profit “from the occupation of the Syrian Golan” and “are complicit in the crimes of the State of Israel and their activities are illegal.”
- In May 2016, Al-Marsad sent a letter to the Delegation of the European Union to Israel and its member states’ embassies, requesting EU action against “ Israel’s discriminatory and illegal policies towards the native Syrian population in the Occupied Syrian Golan,…increased settlement expansion and the exploitation of natural resources,.”
- In February 2016, Al-Marsad and Adalah sent a joint letter to Yuval Steinitz, the Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water and Uri Ilan, the Commissioner of the Northern District Interior Ministry, asking that Israel “revoke permissions to carry out oil drilling in the Golan Heights,” on the grounds that it is “contrary to international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” claiming that the exploitation of the oil is considered a “war crime.”
- In August 2016, Al Marsad became a member of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), during a conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The FIDH, which is funded by multiple European governments, is a major leader of BDS campaigns worldwide. The group, composed of 178 member organizations, supported campaigns including the BDS campaign against Orange (2015), promoted the EU product labeling guidelines, and participated in the NGO campaign at the UN Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry targeting Israel following the 2014 Gaza War.
- Partners with political advocacy NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including: Adalah, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, De-Colonizer, and Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ).
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