Al-Haq

Introduction

Profile

Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
Websitehttp://www.alhaq.org/
Founded1979
In their own wordsClaims to document “violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT” and “end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable.”

Funding

Activities

  • Leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns.
  • Was an active participant in the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism, which adopted the strategy of promoting the complete international isolation and demonization of Israel through boycotts, legal attacks, and other forms of political warfare.
  • In January 2020, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), of which Al-Haq is a member, vehemently opposed a new clause in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists. According to media reports, PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
    • On January 2, 2020, Al-Haq’s General Director Shawan Jabarin published a letter, “I Write to Resist,” criticizing and belittling the importance of the EU’s anti-terrorism clause by stating that the “newly added clause, commonly referred to as an anti-terrorism clause…could undermine the ability of Palestinian civil society organizations to engage with Palestinian society.” Jabarin further implied that Israel naming its main airport after David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding Prime Minister, “inspires (or incites) [] violent settler groups to act on the premise that the ends justify the means.”

Ties to the PFLP

Political Advocacy

  • In September 2019, Al-Haq, alongside Al-Marsad, submitted a report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rightsalleging that “Israel illegally exploits energy resources” and “governs the OPT and Golan in a sovereign-like manner, permanently alienating public immoveable land and natural resources.”
  • In July 2019, Al-Haq held a side event at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council on “Climate and Environmental Justice in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” At the event, Suha Jarrar, Environmental and Gender Policy Researcher at Al-Haq and daughter of PFLP leader Khalida Jarrar, placed sole blame on Israel for climate change, stating that “the majority of environmental problems are the result of Israel’s occupation and not climate change…scientific proof shows that climate change is not yet impacting Palestine…the major obstacle for water availability is Israel and Mekorot not climate change…”
  • On May 18, 2019, Al-Haq was a signatory on a statement referring to all of Jerusalem as “occupied,” and called for the UN to “take a firm stand against…unlawful unilateral measures to be taken by the U.S. in favor of an unveiled attempt at legitimizing Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, occupation and colonization.” The statement further called to “Ban Israeli settlement products” and “Impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on individuals that are identified as responsible for or complicit in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
  • In July 2017, Al-Haq asserted that convicted terrorists have a “right” to receive salaries from the PA, and General Director Shawan Jabarin stated that “If their rights are eroded we are heading for a real crisis in Palestinian society and in due course toward an explosion.”
  • In June 2017, Al-Haq signed a statement marking the “50th year since the start of Israel’s occupation” calling upon the international community to refrain from “recognizing, cooperating with, or providing any assistance to Israeli occupation policies and practices”; pressure Israel to “end the closure on Gaza, withdraw all Occupying Forces from Palestinian territory,…Tear down the Annexation Wall,…Release Palestinian prisoners”; and recognize “the State of Palestine.”
  • In January 2017, Al-Haq, with Al-Shabaka, Society of St. YvesBadil, and Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC), posted an infographic aimed at “raising awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies in the city, its effects on the Palestinian population, and the gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that arise.” The infographic claims that “Since 1967, apartheid prevails” and that Israel has “been enacting discriminatory policies” in Jerusalem.
  • In November 2016, Al-Haq co-authored a submission to Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territories, on “Human Rights Defenders in the OPT…highlight[ing] the repressive environment within which human rights defenders (HRDs) work in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The submission referred to Manal Tamimi, a fieldworker for the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) as a “human rights defender.”
    • Tamimi frequently utilizes antisemitic and violent rhetoric and imagery on social media. In August 2015, Tamimi tweeted, “I do hate Israel, i (sic) wish a thrid Intefada (sic) coming soon and people rais (sic) up and kills all these zionist settlers everywhere.”
  • In 2015, published “Divide and Conquer: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s 2014 Military Offensive Against the Gaza Strip,” presenting an entirely biased and distorted view of events leading to the 2014 Gaza War. The report claims that “On 12 June 2014, three Israeli teenage settlers disappeared near the West Bank city of Hebron. The three individuals were later found dead” (emphasis added). Al-Haq also refers to Hamas terrorists as “Palestinians linked to the resistance.”
  • In November 2015, in the midst of a wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, Al-Haq and French NGO International Federation of Human Rights(FIDH) wrote a joint letter addressed to the European Union Foreign Affairs Ministers condemning Israel’s security response, calling it an attempt to “quell legitimate Palestinian opposition to Israel’s oppression.”

Lawfare

  • Regularly files lawsuits and submits politically motivated reports to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies.
  • Proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.”
  • In July 2019, on the 15th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion against Israel’s Security Barrier, Al-Haq published a statement saying that “the weak responses by third States have effectively given Israel a carte blanche, to remove and erase Palestinian presence in order to transfer in Israeli Jews to Judaize the territory. Meanwhile the prolonged occupation has taken on a permanent and illegal character and the situation now represents a colonisation, annexation, occupation and apartheid” (emphasis added).
  • In October 2018, Al-Haq, alongside Al Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), submitted to the International Criminal Court prosecutor a report accusing Israel of “extracting and destroying Palestinian natural resources.”  According to Shawan Jabarin, “Israelis and private actors have been deliberately and openly exploiting Palestinian natural resources for at least five decades. The exploitation of Palestinian natural resources by Israel, Israelis, as well as corporations, finances and thereby sustains and allows for the expansion of Israeli settlements, including by providing profitable employment to settlers and a secure living environment.”
  • Al-Haq has submitted various documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
    • In March 2020, alongside Al-Mezan, Al-Dameer, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Haq submitted an amicus brief “welcom[ing[ and support[ing] the findings of the Prosecutor that there is a reasonable basis to believe that international crimes have been committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
    • In December 2017, Al-Haq, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Al-Dameer submitted a document to the Prosecutor of the ICC  examining “Israel’s inability and unwillingness to conduct effective investigations ” and called for “investigation into the serious international crimes committed during the July-August 2014 Israeli military offensive.”
    • On September 20, 2017, these NGOs submitted a “substantive communication” to the Prosecutor of the ICC alleging that “high-level Israeli civilian and military officials have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem.”
    • On November 22, 2016, the four NGOs delivered a submission to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, “Requesting Investigation and Prosecution of The Illegal Closure of the Gaza Strip.”
    • In February 2016, the NGOs “provided evidence of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity” and concluded that “high-ranking Israeli military and civilian officials committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Operation Protective Edge.”
    • On November 23, 2015, the four NGOs submitted a document claiming evidence and testimonies of alleged Israeli “war crimes” perpetrated during the 2014 Gaza war.
  • On May 14, 2016, Shawan Jabarin spoke at the “Malaga Legal Experts Conference,” organized by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), aimed at “reviewing all efforts relevant to employing the principle of Universal Jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli war criminals and how these efforts relate to action before the ICC.”
  • In 2010, filed a criminal complaint against the Dutch company, Riwal, for alleged complicity “in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The complaint was dismissed in May 2013.
  • Supported the December 2009 arrest warrant secured in the UK by Hamas against Israeli opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, claiming she bore “special responsibility for the war crimes and possible crimes against humanity that characterized Israel’s actions during the assault on Gaza.”
  • Worked with Al Mezan to secure an arrest warrant in the UK against Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in September 2009.
  • In 2008, Al-Haq, alongside the Bil’in Village Council, filed a lawsuitBil’in (Village Council) v. Green Park International Ltd. (Quebec, Canada 2008) accusing a Canadian company of “aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with the State of Israel” to commit “war crimes.” Canadian courts dismissed this case and imposed costs on the plaintiffs.
  • In 2006, filed a case against the British government to end export licenses to Israel; it was dismissed by the UK Court of Appeal in 2008.  A similar case filed in 2009 was also dismissed in the preliminary stages.

BDS Activities

  • In 2018-2020, Al-Haq lobbied intensively in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. Al-Haq has signed multiple letters to the UN calling for the database to be implemented without further delay.
  • In May 2020, Al-Haq was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
  • In April 2020, Al-Haq and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN, Ireland) published a report titled “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory: A Guidance for Upholding Human Rights” presenting a prejudicial account of business activity in the West Bank and implicitly demanding that States impose sanctions on Israel.
  • In July 2019, Al-Haq called for the Canadian government to “take a stance against Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, in line with Canada’s obligations under international law including not to recognise, give effect or assist an unlawful situation, by banning trade in settlement products and services entirely.” Al-Haq further called for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to “adopt labels for settlement-made products which accurately allow consumers to exercise their right to buy conscientiously and make informed decisions.”
  • In May 2019, Al-Haq was a signatory on a statement calling on the German Bundestag to revoke its joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic.
  • In February 2019, Al-Haq was a signatory on a letter to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund calling to refrain from investing money in “Israel’s unlawful settlement enterprise.” According to the letter, “corporations may be complicit in aiding and abetting the destruction of property and forcible displacement of the Palestinian population, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
  • In January 2019, Al-Haq supported the Irish “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied territories)” bill which would make it illegal for Irish citizens and residents to import or sell “settlement goods” or to provide or attempt to provide “settlement services.”
  • In June 2018, Al-Haq, alongside the French League of Human Rights (LDH), International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), and the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (PFP), published a report, “The Jerusalem light-rail and how French companies contribute to the settlement of Occupied Palestinian Territory,” despite French court rulings that building the Jerusalem Light Rail is not illegal. The report calls for French companies Systra, Egis, and Alstom  to “terminate their contracts with the Israeli authorities” and urged the French State “to take all the measures needed to ensure that the three public operators, SNCF, RATP and CDC, terminate the contracts signed in the context of the implementation of the Jerusalem tramway, by the companies they control, SYSTRA and Egis; and to take all the measure needed to prevent any participation or investment by French companies that would contribute to Israeli settlement.”
    • Following the report, Al-Haq published a press release “salut[ing]” the announcement by the CEO of SNCF that “Systra is withdrawing from the red and purple line of the Jerusalem light-rail” and referring to it as “a first victory on a just path.”
  • In May 2018, Al-Haq was a signatory on a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “Investigate Israel’s Use of Lethal Force in Gaza.” The letter accused Israel of using American weapons against Palestinian demonstrators and called to “halt any further assistance to all Israeli military units involved in these shootings.” The letter ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
  • In June 2017, Al-Haq released a statement supporting Amnesty International’s call for states to ban goods from the West Bank, and called for these types of measures to be “mainstreamed- not only amongst human rights organizations and activists, but also amongst the international community. After 50 years of occupation, third states must finally take action.”
  • In March 2017, Al-Haq, along with groups including International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH),  Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD- Terre Solidaire, and the French League of Human Rights (LDH) published a document ‘The dangerous ties between French banks and insurances companies with the Israeli occupation‘, which recommended that the French government pressure French financial institutions to “disengage without delay from any financial link with the Israeli banking system,” and create “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.”
  • In February 2016, issued a joint statement that “affirm[ed] the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions, and calls on states and businesses to uphold their related legal responsibilities” and stated that the EU November 2015 labeling move against Israeli settlement products is “insufficient,” calling for a complete ban (emphasis added).
  • On May 6, 2015, Al-Haq, along with FIDH and other French NGOs and unions published “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupies Palestinian Territory,” calling for a boycott of the Israeli mobile phone network Partner Communications (which operates under the Orange brand). The NGOs targeted the French corporation Orange Group and “the French State as Orange’s principal majority shareholder.”
    • Efforts to pressure Orange included attending the Orange annual shareholders meeting, and lobbying of the French government and the Palestinian Authority.
  • Issued a 2013 position paper, “Feasting on the Occupation,” calling on the European Union and “relevant United Nations (UN) bodies” to boycott Israeli produce. The paper accuses Israel of “violations of international humanitarian law” “illegal conduct,” and “extensive destruction and appropriation of Palestinian resources.”
  • In 2013, in order to interfere with cooperation between Dutch companies and the Israeli company Mekorot, Al-Haq was part of a libelous campaign falsely suggesting that Israel steals water from Palestinians.

Staff

  • Wesam Ahmad
    • At a June 2017 CEIRPP conference, “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation,” Wesam Ahmad, Al-Haq Program Assistant, remarked that Israel “was a colonial project from the very beginning and in fact Israel has been able to benefit from the historical colonial practices to develop what I call ‘best business practice model of colonization’.” (Video of this statement available on UN Web TV, at 1:29:22)
    • In March 2014, Ahmad participated in a conference held by the University of Amsterdam on the topic of the “role of the European Union in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the case of businesses invested in illegal settlements, labelling settlement products and EU’s commitments to respect and promote human rights.”
    • In July 2013, Ahmad told the Financial Times that “In our opinion it is not sufficient for the European Commission to punt responsibility to the consumer…The Europeans have obligations under international law to prohibit these goods by banning them from entering the market.”
  • Raja Shehadeh
    • Shehadeh is a founder of Al-Haq and a member of Military Court Watch’s advisory board.
    • On March 20, 2017, spoke at SOAS on “Is Israel afraid of peace? Reflections on the failures of international law and human rights, and on sources of hope.” Shehadeh spoke about how it “is almost 50 years since the Six-Day War. The end of those hostilities witnessed the Israeli occupation of former Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza, and the displacement of 300,000 Palestinian citizens. After half a century of devastating regional conflicts a resolution to the situation appears no closer.”
    • In a 2012 interview with the ICRC, Shehadeh stated that “the occupation is of a colonial nature. Its aim ultimately is to encourage – certainly not by using force – the Palestinians to leave and to be replaced by Israeli settlers.” He furthered that a structure was introduced to “resolve the problem of how to apply Israeli laws to one part of the population and not to the other, and how to discriminate in an official, ‘legal’ manner between the two groups of inhabitants living on the same territory. This was how apartheid was introduced to the OPT.”
    • According to Shehadeh, “we cannot speak about the occupation without speaking about the settlements and the fact that people do not see Israel only as an occupier that controls certain aspects of their lives, but as a colonizer that is after their land. It feels like a cancerous growth that is eating up their body and making normal life impossible in every way.”
  • Jonathan Kuttab
    • A member of Al-Haq’s General Assembly and Board of Directors, Kuttab also serves on the board of Sabeel.
    • Kuttab has advocated for a “one-state solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which seeks to eliminate Jewish self-determination. In December 2017, Kuttab gave a lecture titled “A Vision for One State in Israel/Palestine.” In 2009, Kuttab, wrote an article stating that “Zionism will ultimately need to redefine its goals and aspirations, this time without ignoring or seeking to dispossess the indigenous Palestinian population. Palestinians will also have to deal with this reality, and accept — even enthusiastically endorse — the elements required to make Jews truly feel at peace in the single new state that will be the home of both people.”
    • In September 2015, Kuttab participated in a conference titled “Waging Peace: Doing Justice Through BDS,” speaking about “Why should BDS be considered a strategy for doing justice in the Holy Land?” He will share BDS history, principles, variety, effectiveness, its use in the occupied territories, and as a strategy being used by churches, and peace/justice organizations.”
  • In December 2010, Maureen Claire Murphy, managing editor of Electronic Intifada and a former Al-Haq employee, was subpoenaed by the FBI to appear before a Federal Grand Jury for her work with the Palestine Solidarity Group.

Partners

Al-Haq Funders (2014-2020)

FunderTotalYear(s)
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)$1,301,7002014-2017
European Union€296,6002017-2020
France€27,8422015
Irish Aid€80,0002017
€80,0002016
Christian Aid Ireland€70,0002017-2018
Italy€1,800,0002018-2020
NorwayNOK 2,000,0002018
NOK 2,000,0002017
NOK 1,600,0002016
Open Society Institute$400,0002016

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