|In their own words||Stated mission: “to promote respect and protection for all human rights; particularly ESCR [Economic, Social, Cultural Rights], in the Gaza Strip as part of OPT throughout research, legal intervention, advocacy and awareness”|
- According to its 2014 annual report, “Core Programme Donors” include: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norway, Medico International (Germany), Save the Children International, and the Open Society Foundations. “Project Donors” include: EU, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Diakonia (Sweden), Heinrich Boll Foundation (Germany), Norwegian Refugee Council, Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Oxfam- GB, Save the Children, Open Society Foundation, UNDP, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.
- Al Mezan’s funding information is not transparent. Al Mezan does not publish annual income or funding amounts.
- According to information released by donors, Al Mezan received a core funding grant of $415,000 (2014-2016) from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland) It also received a grant of NOK 2,000,000 (2015-2016) from Norway.
- According to its website, Al Mezan “envision[s] a Palestinian free, sovereign society where all women, men and children enjoy the benefits of social justice, human rights, the merit of the rule of law and good governance fully and equally.”
- Consistently refers to the Israeli army as the Israel Occupation Forces (IOF), delegitimizing Israeli self-defense, and erases the context of Palestinian terror, Hamas’ use of human shields, and illegal rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.
- Regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid,” accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “war crimes,” promotes the “nakba” narrative and refers to Israeli security measures as “collective punishment.”
- Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, file lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Conducts “legal training” courses emphasizing “the important role of lawyers in achieving justice and the need for lawyers to be knowledgeable in international humanitarian law and human rights law in order to be able to confront the flagrant violations committed in the context of the Israeli occupation.”
- In 2015, Al-Mezan, along with other Palestinian rights groups, submitted a document to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), claiming evidence and testimonies of alleged Israeli “war crimes” perpetrated during the 2014 Gaza war.
- During the 2014 Gaza War, Al-Mezan was designated by UN-OCHA to provide casualty statistics. These statistics originated with the Hamas Ministry of Health, and many individuals identified by Al-Mezan and others as “civilians” killed during the conflict were actually found to be combatants and members of terror groups.
- In 2009, Al Mezan partnered with Al Haq in an attempt to secure an arrest warrant against Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the UK for “war crimes” allegedly committed during the 2009 Gaza War.
Allegations of ‘war crimes’
- Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric accusing Israel of “massacres,” “slaughtering civilians,” “scandalous war crimes,” and “despicable disregard to civilian life.”
- During the 2014 Gaza war, Al Mezan, together with the other members of PHROC, submitted a letter to the EU accusing Israel of “blatant violations of international law,” “indiscriminately and disproportionally killing Palestinian civilians,” and “evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The letter urges the EU “to resort to all operational measures at its disposal with a view of bringing Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law to an end.”
- As a member of the PHROC, submitted a July 16, 2014 “Open Letter to UN Secretary-General on Hostilities in the Gaza Strip,” accusing Israel of “collective punishment,” “ongoing indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip” and “intentionally target[ing] Palestinian civilians and homes.”
- In a November 28, 2013 press release, together with Palestinian NGOs Al-Dameer, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Mezan accused Israel of “systematic policies against the civilian population” and “human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces… as a form of collective punishment.
Lack of Verifiable Sources
- In June 2015, Al-Mezan, alongside Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), released “No More Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Attack.” The publication was characterized by one-sided accounts, a total lack of verifiable sources, and lack of context. In addition, Al-Mezan and its partners erased the terror affiliation of three “paramedics” and “medical volunteers” who were killed in an Israeli strike.
- Al Mezan’s highly unreliable statistics on civilian casualties and building demolitions were cited in the discredited Goldstone report as well as the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza war. Al Mezan’s director has also “testified” before UN committees, “especially [about] the willful killing of civilians committed by the IOF [sic].” Al Mezan, together with a number of other highly biased and politicized NGOs also issued a statement repeating the Goldstone report’s highly inflammatory conclusions and called on states to “re-evaluate their relationship with Israel” because “normal relations [could] not be conducted with it.”
- In January 2015, PHR-I published “Gaza, 2014: Findings of an Independent medical fact-finding mission,” alleging Israeli violations of human rights and international legal norms during the 2014 Gaza War. Al-Mezan is listed as having provided “Fieldwork and research coordination” for the report.
- The report provides no proof or evidence for the serious charges contained within it. The report contains fundamental methodological flaws, ignores Hamas violations, and relies on “experts” that have demonstrated anti-Israel biases.
- Signed (together with Addameer, Badil, Palestinian Center for Democracy & Conflict Resolution, and Union of Agriculture Work Committees [UAWC]) on a Joint Call to Action: July 2014 – Month against the Apartheid Wall stating: “….it is time for a ‘legal intifada’, an intensified popular struggle and more boycotts, divestment and sanctions….We ask you to expand and deepen the global BDS movement for justice…”
- Signatory to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS,” which calls for an end to Israel’s “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination and would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
Al Mezan holds UN ECOSOC consultative status and is a member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the World Organization Against Torture, as well as a number of other organizations; utilizes these platforms to promote and disseminate demonizing statements against Israel.