The Independent Commission for Human Rights “Ombudsman” held a meeting today in its Middle and South Gaza Office on the “Right to Housing” in the aftermath of the Israeli Aggression in 2014.
ICHR’s South Gaza Office Attorney and Researcher Mahmoud al-Hashash presented the rules and provisions defining the right to housing and the means of protecting and promoting this right in accordance with the local law and international human rights standards. He clarified the obligations of the State towards guaranteeing citizens’ right to adequate housing in a manner that would maintain their dignity and humanity without any form of discrimination or omission.
Cooperative Housing Director General at the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Engineer Issam Sadeq highlighted the efforts of the ministry to ensure housing units for citizens and enable them to enjoy their rights according to clear mechanisms. He shed light on the big impediments the ministry faces in light of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip which makes it difficult for the ministry to provide necessary services for the citizens.
He confirmed the ministry is doing everything possible to serve citizens in accordance with the resources within its reach.
For his part, Member of the League of the Displaced in Hkuza area, Muslim al-Najar shed light on his experience during the last Israeli aggression when his home was stormed.
He highlighted several problems facing the affected people, including multiple agencies following up the damages and absence of clear data base as well as excluding local authorities from the process of identifying and counting the damages caused by the Israeli aggression. He demanded that the competent authorities shouldn’t ignore the morale and psychological situation of the affected households while handling their cases.
Coordinator of Public Training and Awareness Raising, Bahgat al-Hiliw, highlighted the activities of ICHR regarding raising citizens’ awareness about their rights.
He said that ICHR shall organized a campaign for the right to housing as part of its current annual plan to raise public awareness about their rights. He added that it shall organize several awareness and media activities within the framework of this campaign.
At the end of the meeting, the participants were given time for discussion and questions. They emphasized the necessity of promoting the right to housing through awareness raising campaigns and practical plans by competent authorities to guarantee enjoyment of this right by all citizens.