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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Letter addressed to the OHCHR High Commissioner High Commissioner
Deafening silence of OHCHR regarding the war on Gaza


Following is the letter that was sent to the OHCHR High Commissioner on behalf of over 80 CSOs from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and the Arab region.
The letter addresses the OHCHR’s response concerning the Israeli war on Gaza, urging the High Commissioner to visit Gaza and calling on him for a more vocal stance on the dire humanitarian situation prevailing there.


Mr. Volker Türk                                                                                                      6th November 2023

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


Subject: Deafening silence of OHCHR regarding the war on Gaza


Dear High Commissioner,


As representatives of civil society in the Arab Region, we welcome your upcoming visit to the region and the fact that you will be visiting Egypt and Rafah first. We urge you to visit Gaza.  It is there that the most vicious assault on the post-WW2 human rights system is currently happening, and where the victims thereof are located.


Since October 7, 2023, the Israeli army has been vehemently bombarding the Gaza Strip, taking it as far as invading it by land to ‘eradicate Hamas’, all while targeting civilians displacing millions of Palestinians, erasing whole families from the registry, and leaving more than 4000 children dead. According to Save the Children, more children have been killed in just over three weeks in Gaza than in all the world’s conflicts combined in each of the past three years.


Civil infrastructures like schools, churches, mosques, and hospitals have been targeted by the Israeli Occupying Forces in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. The use of white phosphorus, both in the Gaza Strip and in South Lebanon, is an act that violates the laws of the Geneva Convention of 1949 as well as the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) that prohibits the use of airdropped incendiary weapons in “concentrations of civilians” (Protocol III). Once again, Israel is blatantly violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes. United Nations experts say they “remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide” amid Israel’s unrelenting attacks.


We welcome your various statements on the war in Gaza that have been published on the OHCHR website.  At the same time, as civil society representatives, we observe that your voice is not vocal enough on official and media outlets including social media. We need your presence in the public sphere, both to condemn the atrocities perpetrated daily and to realign parties with international law. Despite everything that points to this, there has been a deafening silence from OHCHR’s side regarding the plight of a People whose voice is getting silenced while the nation dies under the rubble, as the international community watches in silence.


We reiterate our solidarity with the Palestinian People and affirm their natural right to return

OHCHR is the custodian of the human rights norms and system that has been established to prevent the horrors of the Second World War from ever happening again.  As such we believe what is expected from OHCHR considering the dramatic and unprecedented situation and the Office’s obligations:


  • Move beyond your previous appeals for a humanitarian pause and instead, insist on an urgent, comprehensive, and enduring ceasefire. This ceasefire should facilitate the delivery of essential aid, encompassing medicine, food, water, and fuel. Such measures are crucial to ensure the continued operation of hospitals and enable people to meet their basic needs.
  • Clearly condemn Israeli atrocities being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip and the numerous human rights violations perpetrated by settlers and the Israeli army in the West Bank as clear war crimes that can amount to genocide;
  • Provide regular updates concerning the state of ongoing OHCHR investigations into the atrocity crimes currently being perpetrated by Israel including statistical information to enhance transparency and express your willingness to cooperate with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court demonstrating a dedication to accountability and justice.
  • Publicly and regularly speak out for the universal application of international human rights and humanitarian law under all circumstances.


In moving forward accordingly, you will have our full support.

Yours sincerely,


The Signatories below:


  • The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)
  • Durrat Almanal for Development and Training
  • Tamkeen For Legal Aid and Human Rights
  • Jordan National NGOs Forum (JONAF) including its 40 Members


  • Palestinian Human Rights Organization – PHRO
  • Lebanese Center for Human Rights
  • Alef acts for Human Rights
  • Masar association
  • Mosaic
  • Proud Lebanon
  • ABAAD-Resource Center for Gender Equality
  • CEDAR Centre for Legal Studies
  • Lebanese NGO’s Network
  • Lebanese foundation for permanent civil peace
  • Biladi Organization for Cultural Heritage
  • Ruwad Al Houkouk (Frontiers)
  • Warche 13 ورشة ١٣
  • Developmental Action without Borders – Nabaa (Lebanon)


  • CIVITAS Institute in Gaza
  • Qader Organization
  • Palestinian Centre for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)
  • Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling
  • Jerusalem Legal Aid Center
  • The Christian Palestinian Initiative/ Kairos Palestine
  • The Community Action Center at Al-Quds University
  • Bisan Center for Research and Development
  • The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH
  • The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD)
  • The Jerusalem Human Rights Consortium
  • The Society of St. Yves
  • The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
  • The Land Research Center
  • Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
  • Al-Haq


The Arab World

  • Manara Network for Child Rights (MENA Region)
  • Amal Organization (Tunisia)
  • Nada Network (Algeria)
  • Mauritanian Association for Maternal and Child Health (Mauritania)
  • Forum for Dialogue and Participation for Development (Egypt)
  • Public Aid Organization (Iraq)
  • Democracy School (Yemen)
  • Soul for Development (Yemen)
  • Bayti Organization (Morocco)