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Hamas cracks down on Gaza journalists

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On April 26, the Ministry of Interior in Gaza launched a crackdown against what it described as “propagandists.” During this unprecedented move, 17 Palestinian journalists and activists were arrested for several hours before being released after pledging not to publish news about internal Palestinian affairs …

Poll: 36% of Palestinian youth will shun local elections

  A recent poll showed a decline in the percentage of Palestinian youth who will participate in the local elections scheduled in the occupied West Bank on 13 May. The Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), which conducted the survey, said: “There are worrying signs of a low percentage …

Drug cultivation, trafficking on the rise in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian police said that it seized different types of drugs worth 60 million Israeli shekels ($16.5 million) in the various provinces between the beginning of January and mid-March. Speaking to Al-Monitor, Palestinian police spokesman Lt. Col. Luay Irzikat said that drug cultivation and trafficking has increased in the …

Trade union head says labor laws don’t protect Gaza’s workers

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy works at a construction site for 40 shekels ($10) per day in Gaza City, Gaza, March 21, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem) GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In 1965, the PLO established the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), an independent labor organization with the mission of …

Palestinian government cancels registration of 50 NGOs over law violation

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Interior decided on Wednesday to cancel the registration of 50 non-governmental organizations registered in Ramallah district over violations of Article 37 of Palestinian law.The ministry explained in a statement that the organizations in question had received written warrants from asking them to …

Needs Assessment Report of five Palestinian Civil Society Organizations: Informal Oversight Capacities in the Palestinian Security Sector

Public involvement in democratic oversight is crucial to ensure accountability and transparency across the security sector. The engagement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the security policy domain strongly contributes to accountability and good governance. Civil society involvement can be accomplished by (i) monitoring government performance and policy, and (ii) …

Amnesty: Israel must cease intimidation of human rights defenders, protect them from attacks

PNN/ Bethlehem/ The Israeli authorities must end their long-standing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders (HRDs) and halt the climate of intimidation of HRDs in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today. Israeli authorities must take immediate steps to provide protection necessary for HRDs in Israel/OPT to …

Civil Society Creates Crisis Management Cell to Oversee Executive Authority Actions

Palestinian civil society organisations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO), the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC), the Independent Commission for Human Rights, the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), and the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, met on Sunday 20 March 2016. During the …

IOF begin building new section of the apartheid wall, Bethlehem

PNN/ Bethlehem/ Israeli occupation forces on Monday morning have barged into Beit Jala town northwest of Bethlehem, using bulldozers, to proceed building a new section of the apartheid wall. The bulldozing is taking place in Bir ‘Ona archaeological site, and the wall will split the Cremisan valley Monastery in half. Israel’s Supreme Court …

Training needs assessment report: Strengthening Financial Oversight Institutions in the Palestinian Security Sector

In Palestine, good financial oversight of the security sector is crucial to enhancing accountability of the security forces, and guarding against corruption. However currently, financial oversight institutions and departments do not follow unified processes. Instead, these bodies have developed their own procedures and methods for implementing financial oversight. This can potentially open up opportunities for mismanagement and corruption. It also makes oversight of security forces by the Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB - the Palestinian independent state audit institution) difficult and time consuming. In 2013, DCAF and SAACB set about to assess the problems of financial oversight in Palestine, and the training needs of those working in financial oversight institutions. Together they formed a task force of representatives from key financial institutions that conducted several meetings and discussions. As a result, it identified a number of areas in which technical support needs to be provided to financial staffers in order to improve their capacities. DCAF and SAACB then set about addressing these findings though trainings, the supply of international expertise and legislative assistance. The findings are detailed in Strengthening Financial Oversight Institutions in the Palestinian Security Sector: A Training Needs Assessment, which is currently available in English and Arabic.