BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND DIRECTOR GENERAL

"A 17-member board of commissioners currently runs ICHR. These highly credible Commissioners are prominent members of the Palestinian society, and were selected from both inside Palestine and the Diaspora, to confirm the need for communication between different Palestinian communities, and to benefit from the expertise of the members of the Diaspora in enhancing and promoting ICHR. The Executive Office, emanating from the Board of Commissioners and headed by the Commissioner General, is the highest authority within ICHR and oversees its operations and performance. The Director General, appointed by the Executive Office, is the highest official responsible for managing divisions and staff in headquarters and Regional Offices. Until the law regulating the work of ICHR is passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council, ICHR's Board of Commissioners will continue to be the highest decision-making body.

Commissioners are selected in accordance with criteria as stated in ICHR's Bylaws and based on the Paris Principles.

The Director General leads the executive team of the ICHR, and he/she shall assume the duties of managing the day-to-day work in accordance with the approved strategies, plans, policies and regulations, and assume the responsibility of supervising the employees. The Director General shall contribute to the representation ICHR and develop its relations with all relevant official and non-official bodies, As well as making statements on the position of the Commission on human rights issues and initiating lobbying, advocacy and intervention with official institutions in human rights issues.

Bylaws of ICHR's Board of Commissioners

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Mr. Issam Abualhaj Aruri
Mr. Issam Abualhaj Aruri

The Commissioner General of ICHR since July 2021, and he is the general director of Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, and a founding member of The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO); which is a coalition of 142 Palestinian civil society organizations most of which are pioneering in different developmental and humanitarian sectors. Graduated from Bir Zeit University, and holds a master's degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

Prior to his current job, he filled several posts in different Civil Society Organizations. He was active in establishing Civil Society Organizations and other public frameworks.  He is a founding member of the Palestinian Human Rights Council, Civic Coalition for the Defense of Jerusalemites and Coalition for the Monitoring of Public Freedoms.

He is currently a BOD member of PNGO (Palestinian Network of NGOs)

Mr. Salameh Bseiso
Mr. Salameh Bseiso

Deputy Commissioner-General of ICHR, and a regular lawyer and deputy President of the Palestinian Bar since 2007, a member of the Committee on Palestinian reconciliation within the independent personalities, he is also an international arbitrator at the International Arbitration Center in faculty of law at University of Alexandria, and an arbitrator licensed from the Palestinian Ministry of Justice with "A" category in the field of human rights disputes, He is also the assistant secretary general of the Union The Arab Lawyers Association since 2012, the Vice-President of the Palestinian Bar Association, the Secretary-General of the Aoun Network for Justice, the Chairman of the Palestine Committee of the International Islamic Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Higher Judicial Institute.

Mr. Asem Khalil, Ph.D
Mr. Asem Khalil, Ph.D

Asem Khalil is an Associate Professor of Public Law, Vice President for Community Affairs, H.H. Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Constitutional and International Law, Birzeit University. Dr. Khalil is the former Dean of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration (2012-2015), and of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies (2010-2012). He is a member of the board of trustees of the Independent Commission of Human Rights, and member of the executive committee of Al-Haq.

Mr. Talal Okal
Mr. Talal Okal

A Political Analyst, a former general director in the Directorate of Planning and Development in the Palestinian Ministry of Culture and Information. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Yasser Arafat Foundation and has been the Vice Chairman of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights since five years. He is also a member of the editorial board of Tasamoh Magazine, which is issued in Ramallah by the Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, since ten years.. He is also the Vice President of the Al-Ard Center for Research and Policy Studies and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Secretariat. He is also a writer in the Palestinian daily Newspaper Al-Ayyam. He has written long and short articles and studies in a number of periodics, and has previously served in many of the Management positions in media organizations.

Mr. Amjad Shawa
Mr. Amjad Shawa

He was Born in 24/4/1971 in Gaza , Palestine, he is the director of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) in Gaza strip since 1999. He has been working as a part-time correspondent for the Jordanian news agency Petra since 1996. Amjad has a B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing and a Master of American Studies. He also has a professional Diploma in teaching deaf children in Gaza and worked as teacher of deaf from 1992 till 1999. He is a member of The Palestinian Resource Group on Conflict Transformation also co-founder and board member of many NGO's.

Amjad participated om many international and national events and conferences , he has many articles on human rights and civil society issues.

Mr. George Giacaman, Ph.D.
Mr. George Giacaman, Ph.D.

He holds a Ph.D in philosophy and teaches at Birzeit University in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, the MA Program in Democracy and Human Rights, the MA Program in Contemporary Arab Studies, and the Ph.D Program in the Social Sciences. He has served as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Founding Dean of Graduate Studies at Birzeit University. He is also a co-founder of Muwatin,The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy and served as its founding General Director. He has written widely in specialized journals on topics in general philosophy, Islamic philosophy, democratization and political transformation, in addition to general journals, and edited and/or co-edited three books and is the author of After Arafat: Political Transformation During the Second Intifada. He contributes political commentary to various Arab and international newspapers,TV stations and radios, and serves as a member of the Board of several civil society organizations including being a founding member of the Palestinian NGO Network where he also served as an elected member of its Executive Committee.

Mrs. Hama Zeidan
Mrs. Hama Zeidan

She holds a Master's degree in Democracy and Human Rights and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Birzeit University. An activist in combating corruption and promoting good governance. She promotes social accountability and its linkage with human rights. She has accumulated experience and knowledge in the linkage between the impact of corruption on human rights. She is currently the Director of the Social Advocacy and Accountability Unit of “AMAN”, the national branch of Transparency International. She is the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Social Accountability Network in the Arab World and also one of its founders. She also worked for the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) as the Director of the Governance and Human Rights Statistics Project. She served as the head of the Institutional National Accounts Department and was a member of a technical committee in a number of statistical surveys (economic, social and geographical).

Mrs. Diana Buttu
Mrs. Diana Buttu

A Palestinian lawyer from Ramallah, she received her BA in Middle East and Islamic Studies and MA from the University of Toronto, a PhD from Queen’s University School of Law, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She previously worked as a legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and was a member of the team that worked On raising the issue of the Israeli wall before the International Court of Justice, a permanent commentator on the Palestinian issue in the international media such as (CNN) and (BBC), and a political analyst for Al Jazeera International. Regular contributor to the Middle East Journal. She practices law in Palestine, and focuses on international law and human rights.

Mrs. Rawan Damen
Mrs. Rawan Damen

Rawan Damen - Director General of ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalists). Filmmaker and Media consultant. Rawan Damen has over 20 years of experience in media coaching and management; in addition to TV and digital production career

She produced and directed more than 30 hours of TV documentaries and investigations, translated to multiple languages, including the internationally renowned award-winning documentary series Al-Nakba, Owners of the Land, The Price of Oslo and others. Rawan worked as a senior commissioning producer at Al Jazeera Media Network for 10 years (2006 – 2016), commissioning 250 hours of documentaries and investigations. She holds an MA (with Distinction) in Communications Studies from Leeds University, UK, 2003 and BA (with Distinction) in Media and Sociology from Birzeit University, Palestine, 2001. She received the Media Creativity Award by the Arab Thought Foundation in Beirut, 2015

Mrs. Luna Saadeh
Mrs. Luna Saadeh

Luna Saadeh is a gender and women rights advocate and consultant and a member at the Arab Women Organization Permanent Advisory Committee for Policy and Administrative, Financial and Legal Affairs. She focuses her efforts on integrating women’s rights into national plans, policies and legislation at local, regional and international levels. Further, she has worked as a consultant on matters covering women’s rights and the agenda of security, peace and sustainable development, and has long and broad experience in documenting violations against women from the perspective of International Humanitarian Law. Ms. Saadeh has published many local studies on women and girls’ rights tackling issues related to development and humanitarian interventions, as well as preparing studies and papers on women’s right to access justice, political and economic participation and on gender-based violence. Ms. Saadeh has a Master’s degree in Women’s Development and Law from Bir-Zeit University, in addition to taking part in many regional and international round table discussions and programs.

Mr. Ziad Amro
Mr. Ziad Amro

Member of the Board of Commissioners, a human rights and community activist born in 1965 in Dura City and educated in its schools. He lost his sight during his studies at the University of Hebron, where he received a bachelor degree in education and psychology. He received a Fulbright scholarship in 1995 and moved to the United States where he received a master's degree in social work from the University of San Francisco. He continued his educational path and studied law at Al-Quds University and received his second bachelor's degree in 2014. He also studied at Birzeit University and received two diplomas, the first in the management of NGOs in 2000, and the second in the Strategy and International communication from Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies in 2017.

He has a clear impact on the rights of Palestinian persons with disabilities. In 1991, he initiated the establishment of the General Union of Disabled Palestinians, where he volunteered and served as its Executive Director and was elected as its Chairperson from 2003-2005. He led the campaign to ratify the Palestinian People Disability Rights Law. He has participated in the establishment of the Arab Organization for Persons with Disabilities, representing Palestine, and served as its training officer. Similarly, he has represented Palestine and people with disabilities at the United Nations for four years to discuss the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and succeeded in extracting a reference to the rights of persons with disabilities under foreign occupation in its preamble. He devoted his life to defending persons with disabilities and raising awareness of their rights and issues. Member and Coordinator of the Supreme Council for Persons with Disabilities, Rapporteur of its Executive Office and Counselor on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Palestine’s representative in many international forums and participated in the training of dozens of activists of the rights movement of persons with disabilities in Palestine and the Arab world. He is an active member and founder of a number of committees, networks and civil society organizations active in the field of human rights.

He has many articles, studies, written contributions and media activities, he also prepares and presents a television program specialized in the affairs of people with disabilities.

Mr. Shawqi Issa
Mr. Shawqi Issa

The former Minister of Social Affairs, a human rights lawyer, and the General Director of the Human Rights Foundation in Bethlehem. He worked at the Human Rights Law Foundation for a long time and was part of the Think Tank Group to create the Bethlehem Institute of Leadership. He is a legal adviser to many institutions and centers and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Network for Rights and Development. A human rights activist and a member of the Council of Human Rights Institutions in Palestine.

Mrs. Mervat Rishmawi
Mrs. Mervat Rishmawi

Palestinian human rights researcher, policy analyst and lecturer specialising in Palestine and the Middle East and North Africa. She previously worked with the International Secretariat of Amnesty International for approximately 12 years, most of which as the Legal Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa Region. She also worked previously for a number of years with Al-Haq in Palestine. She is currently self-employed consultant for a number of UN organisations, as well as national, regional and international organisations. She carries out research and policy analysis, prepares manuals and resources, as well as carries out training and teaches international human rights law and mechanisms.

Mrs. Rishmawi has published on a number of human rights issues related to human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Her current thematic interests include women’s rights, particularly the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; economic and social rights; and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Other ongoing interests include prevention of torture and ill-treatment, and children’s rights. She also has specific expertise and authored a number of publications focussing on the human rights standards and mechanisms of the League of Arab States.

She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.

She is a Fellow at both the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham, and the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex (UK). She also sits on the board and advisory councils of several international organisations, including the Council of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).

Website:www.mervatrishmawi.co.uk

Mrs. Lubna Katbeh
Mrs. Lubna Katbeh

Co Founder and Managing Partner of Equity Legal Group a leading Palestinian law firm, www.elg.ps. Practicing lawyer for over than 20 years in Palestine; working in areas of alternative dispute resolution, litigation, contracts and consultation mainly in business, financial and commercial areas. One of the first Palestinian lawyers to represent clients in international arbitration cases. Ms. Katbeh is the first appointed Court member in the International Court of Arbitration – ICC representing Palestine from 2012 until June 2015.

Mrs. Katbeh renders advice and reprsent at courts and infront of international arbitration tribunals major Palestinian institutions including the public institutions as well as major local and international private sector companies and institutions.

Previously working as Deputy Chief of Party to the EU – Funded Project for Empowering Palestinian Judiciary – Seyada, Legal counselor for many local and international companies, as well as head of the first local arbitration center in Palestine“ Tahkeem”. Ms. Katbeh jointly with leading Palestinian lawyers and experts participated in the drafting and review of numerous laws and draft laws such as the Central Bank, Banking law, Deposit Guarantee, Foundations law, Arbitration Law, regulations of the Water Law, ...etc.

Mrs Katbeh was appointed as independent board member representing the private sector at the Palestinian Electricity Regulatory Council 2017. Ms. Katbeh is a previous lecturer at the Birzeit University Institute of Law - in the topics of ADR in, and Drafting Legal Documents and Contracts between the years 2012 - 2015.

Empowering women in business, Ms. Katbeh is a member of the MENA Arab Women Legal Network, and the Business Women Forum. Supporting women and children in Palestine Ms. Katbeh is an active member in two major associations focusing on these sectors: member of the general assembly of Inash Al-Usra Society and member of the Board of Trustees at Dar Al Tifl Arabi.

Mrs. Katbeh is registered in the Palestinian Bar and is the head of the arbitration commission in the ICC – Palestine. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, from School of International Arbitration, Queen Mary, and in LL.M- Banking and Financial Laws from Queen Mary, and had her LL.B. in Law from the University of Jordan. She is a certified legal translator and arbitrator by the Ministry of Justice.

Mrs. Amal Al-Kahlout, Ph.D
Mrs. Amal Al-Kahlout, Ph.D

Prof. Amal Al-Kahlout is the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and has refereed her research to obtain a professorship, and is the recipient of the 2016 ISESCO Prize in Science and Technology in the Physics Branch.

In 1992, Dr. Amal obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, then a Master’s degree from Britain in 1999, and a Ph.D. from Germany in 2006. After graduating from her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a teaching assistant at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and has been working since 2014 as Dean of the Faculty Science at Al-Azhar University.

In 2016, Al-Azhar University in Gaza nominated Dr. Amal for the Ministry of Education to compete for the award, and later she was chosen to receive the 2016 ISESCO Prize in Science and Technology, Physics Branch, for her research on solar energy.

Mrs. Faiha Abdel-Hadi, Ph.D.
Mrs. Faiha Abdel-Hadi, Ph.D.

She is a Palestinian writer, poet, research consultant, community activist, and lecturer with experience in various aspects of oral history, gender, literary critique, and politics. Dr. Abdulhadi is founder and director of Al-Rowat for Studies & Research and has published 12 books in addition to various studies and articles. Past experience includes positions as consultant researcher to UNICEF in Cairo and to the Directorate of Gender Planning and Development (Ministry of Planning in Palestine), as well as researcher for the Palestinian Research and Documentation Centre (UNESCO) in Palestine. Dr. Abdulhadi is a member of the Palestinian National Council and the regional coordinator of the organization Peace Women across the Globe.

Mr. Ammar Dwaik, LL.M, Ph.D.
Mr. Ammar Dwaik, LL.M, Ph.D.

The Director General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), Combines strong legal and public administration backgrounds and skills. A lawyer by training and a part-time professor of public policy and public administration at Birzeit University.

Al-Dwaik (also Dwaik or Dweik) holds PhD in Social Policy and Management from Brandeis University, Masters in Law and Government from America University of Washington, DC and a Bachelor in Law from Al-Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Currently, Al -Dwaik is the CEO of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), the National and leading Palestinian human rights organization.

Al-Dwaik has a long and diverse experience in elections management, human rights, good governance and access to justice. He is a co-founder of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) and its Chief Electoral officer from 2004-2006 during which he led the CEC executive body through the Palestinian presidential elections of 2005 and the legislative elections of 2006. Additionally he served with UNDP in Sudan as electoral specialist seconded to advise the Sudanese Elections Commission on technical electoral matters.

Al-Dwaik is an author and co-author of numerous legal studies and reports and policy papers. In addition, he drafted and co-drafted many draft laws, and by-laws. Prior to joining ICHR, He was involved in numerous local and regional consultancies in the fields of human rights, legal reform, elections and electoral management and public administration.

Honorary Members
Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi, Ph.D.
Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi, Ph.D.

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a distinguished Palestinian leader, legislator, activist, and scholar who served as a member of the Leadership Committee and as an official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process, beginning with the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. Making history as the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in Palestine, she was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2009 and most recently in 2018. In the realm of academia, Dr. Ashrawi served as the Palestinian Minister of Higher Education and Research from 1996 to 1998 and as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Birzeit University from 1986 to 1990. As a civil society activist, she founded the Independent Commission for Human Rights (1994), MIFTAH, the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (1998) and AMAN, the National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (1999). She serves on the advisory and international boards of several global, regional and local organizations, and she is the recipient of numerous awards from all over the world and several academic accolades, including eleven honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Arab world.

Dr. Mamdouh Aker
Dr. Mamdouh Aker

Dr. Al-Aker received his BA in Medicine from Cairo University in 1969 and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh 1977. He completed his career and completed his specialization in the field of kidney and urology surgery at King's College Hospital in London in 1981.

Dr. Al-Aker is the President of the Palestinian Health Policy Forum and is a founding member of the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for two consecutive sessions, the Mandela Foundation for Palestinian Political Prisoners, and founding member and former Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (2003-2010). He has participated in the establishment of the Council of Higher Education, and his membership term expired with the issuance of the Education Act in 2018.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Birzeit University, the Board of Trustees of Al-Taawun Foundation, the General Authority of Faisal Husseini Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Anti-Corruption Authority, the General Assembly of the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (Aman), and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies-Masarat , and a member of the Higher Committee for Education Reform.

Dr. Al-Aker was part of the Palestinian peace negotiating delegation in Madrid in 1991, and a member of the negotiating delegation in Washington 1991-1993 (and withdrew from the delegation on 11/09/1991, two days before the signing of the Oslo Agreement on 13/09/1991).

Mrs. Varsen Aghabekian, Ph.D.
Mrs. Varsen Aghabekian, Ph.D.

Holds a Ph.D. is in Administrative & Policy Studies-Education from the University of Pittsburgh/USA and a M.Sc. from Indiana University/Purdue University /USA.

Currently, with the Negotiations Support project and free-lance management and policy consultant.

Previously: Manager of Capacity and Institution Building at the office of the President, Executive Director of Al Quds Capital of Arab Culture 2009, Director of Research & Planning at the Welfare Association , Associate Professor at Al-Quds University (1988-2008) as well as Dean of Health professions 95-98 and Dean of graduate studies 98-2000.

Directed several national studies including the Multisector Review and Strategic plan for East Jerusalem (2000-2003), the National Plan for Human Resource Development and Education in Health (2000).Also a member of the committee which drafted the strategic plan on maintaining Christian presence in the Holy Land and a member of the committee on the Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence: The Atlanta Summit of American and Holy Land Churches.

Founding or active member of several NGOs and groups. Member of the Presidential Committee for the restoration of the Church of Nativity and advisory committee member for the Presidential committee on Church Affairs.

Active on human rights issues and has been a board member of WCLAC since 2004,of the Jerusalem Advocacy Network since 2008 and member of the board of Commissioners of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights since 2006 - Commissioner General 2016-2018.

Author of several studies, manuals and national reports on: Jerusalem, education, youth, women and management.

Mr. Ahmad Harb, Ph.D.
Mr. Ahmad Harb, Ph.D.

Dr. Harb is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Birzeit University as well as a writer and novelist. In 1997, he received the State of Palestine Prize in the genre of the novel for his novel The Other Side of the Promised Land. He is the author of five other novels including, Remains, Isma'el and Ascendance to the Minaret. He is a writer on a wide range of topics including politics, culture, literature, law and human rights. He received his Ph.D in English and Comparative Literature in 1986 from The University of Iowa (Iowa City, USA) where he was a member of the prestigious creative writing program in this university.

He chaired the Department of English at Birzeit University several times. He was the Dean of Arts and a member of the University Council from 2002-2007. He joined the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) as a commissioner in 2006. He was elected Commissioner General by the Board of Commissioners during their annual meeting on November 26, 2011.

Mr. Raja Shehadeh
Mr. Raja Shehadeh

He graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1973 and received a degree in English Literature and Philosophy. He studied law in London and became a member of the British Bar Association of Lincolnshire in 1976, and has practiced law in Ramallah since 1978. In 1979, he was one of the founders of Al-Haq organization and worked as one of its directors until 1991. Through his work in the field of law, he dealt with several issues that recorded important legal precedents that included the case before the International Court of Justice, which dealt with the construction of the wall in the West Bank and its legal consequences. He has written numerous books dealing with various legal aspects related to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, including the book "The Law of the Occupier" (published in 1985 by the Institute for Palestinian Studies), "Land Law" (published in 1993 by Basia), and "From Occupation to Interim Agreements" (published in 1997 by Kloer Publishing House). His latest published books are the memoir "Strangers in the House" (published by Penguin Publishing House in 2002) and "When the Bulbul stopped singing" (which was published by Profile in 2004), Which was quoted for theater and was performed in Edinburgh, Tehran, New York and Amman and his latest book is entitled: "Palestinian Walks"(published by the publishing house Profile in 2007) and won the Orwell Prize for the year 2008.

Mr. Issam Younis
Mr. Issam Younis

He is a general director, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, he winner of the Weimar Human Rights Award 2008 from Germany, he have MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights, University of Essex (UK) 1994; BA Sociology, Birzeit University (Palestine) 1989. He is a member of the following institutions:

Member of the Board of Trustees of AL Azahar University in Gaza.

Member of the Palestinian National Commission to follow up with

Mr. Raji Sourani
Mr. Raji Sourani

Raji Sourani has been dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory throughout his professional career, despite the personal and professional sacrifices he has been forced to make in the process. He has been an active lawyer since his qualification in 1977, representing a wide variety of victims of human rights abuses. He received many honors in his career, most recent of which is the Right Livelihood Award for 2013.

 

Despite periods of political imprisonment in Israel; years of harassment and violence from the Israeli military; harassment from the Palestinian Authority; and even death threats from Palestinian fundamentalist parties, Raji has maintained an unwavering commitment to human rights. He has been an advocate for basic human rights standards both at a domestic and international level and has refused to curtail his outspoken criticisms of failures by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, political parties and other states to adhere to human rights standards.

 

Despite the obstacles faced, Raji continues to promote and protect human rights through the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which he founded in 1995 with a group of fellow lawyers and human rights activists in the Gaza Strip. Raji has spearheaded this award-winning centre since its establishment and continues to ensure that the centre provides legal and other services to victims of human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip, enabling them to seek justice and reparation.

 

A committed family man, Raji has been blessed with an equally committed and understanding family, providing love and encouragement through even the worst times. Raji's wife in particular has proved the strongest source of support, despite the often great sacrifices that his work has brought to their life.

 

Throughout the recent challenges presented during the years of the second Intifada and during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), Raji has remained stalwart in his determination that the centre will continue to provide services to the maximum number of victims. He has managed to achieve this aim and the centre continues to respond effectively to the challenges faced in the Gaza Strip and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.