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Visit by the United Nations Human Rights Office

May 6, 2010, two officers from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHR) - Occupied Palestinian Territory in Ramallah came to Huwwara to interview MPT and to view the damage done to the MPT office/house when the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) invaded in March, 2010.They were concerned about a possible increase of military attacks against human rights/peace organizations.

The UN human right officers decided not to make a published statement. It is not certain whether the IOF came to the wrong house when they were hunting for several village youth, since they did very little damage, or if they were pursuing MPT related to fall MPT work with other peace activist groups. The UN Human Rights Office will keep the incident on file and MPT will report to them if there is a reoccurrence. MPT will also send the office reports on human rights violations in the area.

The UN representatives said that the United Nations Human Rights (UNHR) organization has increased in size and mandate in Palestine. There will soon be a new office in Nablus. These representatives felt that Israel seems to be more cautious in some situations because of increased publicity of violations. UN Human Rights officers now go often to Nil'in, a village with weekly demonstrations; some resulted in shooting deaths by the IOF of several Palestinians. (Bil’in, a near neighbor of Nil’in, has also suffered deadly attacks by the IOF, but it has received more international media attention.) The officers said that their office is aware of incidents in the West Bank and Gaza, but they cannot always be at the scene immediately or even soon after an incident because of limited personnel.

These UN Human Rights Office representatives also visited the homes of the young Huwwara men taken prisoners by the IOF in home invasions in March, when the MPT office was invaded.

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