On March 18, 2023, a board member of the Gaza-based NGO Al Mezan participated in a “lawfare” event, organized by a Hamas-affiliated organization and featuring several Hamas leaders. Al Mezan’s leadership is itself linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – and targets Israel and Israeli officials through international legal institutions, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Al Mezan is funded by European governments, including the EU, the Netherlands, and Sweden, under the headings of support for Palestinian civil society organizations and the promotion of human rights, as detailed below.
The event, “Jurists Confronting the Occupier,” was organized by the Hamas-affiliated International Center for Law Studies and discussed various anti-Israel lawfare initiatives. Hamas political bureau members Mahmoud Al-Zahar and Musa Abu Marzouq, as well as Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council member Mohammed Faraj Al-Ghoul, addressed the participants.
Al Mezan board member Nafez Al-Madhoun also spoke, describing “The Palestinian Authority’s role in combating the racist [Israeli] right wing government’s measures.”
Previous Al Mezan Partnerships with Terrorist Organizations
Al Mezan has previously partnered with terror groups in advancing soft-power lawfare campaigns against Israel. On April 9, 2015, Al-Mezan hosted a conference in Gaza on strategies for prosecuting Israelis following Palestinian ascendancy to the ICC. The event featured representatives from Palestinian terrorist organizations – Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – as well as officials from other European-funded NGOs and the UN. (For more information on Al-Mezan’s soft-power activities targeting Israel through international law institutions, see NGO Monitor’s report “Al-Mezan’s ICC Conference: Sponsored by the UN, Headlined by Terror.”)
Al Mezan Lawfare Campaigns Targeting Israel
Al Mezan has submitted various documents to the ICC and has lobbied the ICC Prosecutor to “Investigate and Deter Israel’s Apartheid Regime.” It has also hosted and participated in multiple events encouraging the weaponizing of the ICC against Israel:
- On December 1, 2022, Al Mezan director Issam Younis participated in an event titled “Palestine at the ICC: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”
- In May 2022, Al-Haq, PCHR, and Al Mezan filed a submission to the ICC prosecutor “providing a detailed description and analysis of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the May 2021 Israeli military offensive against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
- In 2022-2023, Al Mezan and PHR-I received €375,000 from the EU, as part of the grant “Joint Action for Health-Promoting and Protecting Adequate Medical Care and Right to Health of Referral Patients, Prisoners, And Poor Persons In The Opt.”
- In 2020-2017, Al Mezan received an additional €449,997 from the EU, for “Strengthening monitoring, protection and Rehabilitation of Civilians Victimized by, or at risk of, human rights and IHL Violations in Gaza with Relation to Access Restricted Area and Torture.”
- In 2019-2022, Al Mezan was among the recipients of a €1 million grant from the Netherlands, as part of its “financial and technical support for Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations.”
- In 2018, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed €202,055 to Al Mezan.
- In 2019-2020, Oxfam Novib provided €7,193 to Al Mezan for “Challenging Shrinking Civil Space in OPT.”
- In 2021-2024, Open Society Foundations granted Al Mezan $450,000 “to support the grantee in monitoring and documenting human rights and International Humanitarian Law violations in the Gaza Strip.” Previously, in 2019-2021, Al Mezan received $600,000 from Open Society Foundations “to monitor and document violations against Palestinians and pursue accountability for abuses.”
- In 2018-2023, Al Mezan, was an implementing partner on a $8,268,188 Swedish grant, titled, “Human Rights Programme Palestine 2018-2023.”
- In 2021-2022, Al Mezan, Al-Haq and PCHR, received $178,938.12 from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) oPt [occupied Palestinian territory] Humanitarian Fund, as part of a grant for “Advocacy, monitoring and documentation of HR and IHL violations and related trends in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.”