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Palestinian, Israeli Groups to Shre Carter-Menil Award

November 15, 1989

ATLANTA (AP) _ Palestinian and Israeli groups that monitor human rights violations on the West Bank and Gaza Strip will share the 1989 Carter-Menil Human Rights Award, the Carter Center announced Wednesday.

The fourth annual $100,000 prize will be presented to the two organizations Dec. 9 at former President Jimmy Carter’s annual address on the state of human rights in the world.

The groups are al-Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, and B’Tselem, a group of Israeli lawyers, intellectuals, journalists and lawmakers.

″These organizations, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, share the goal of promoting basic human dignity,″ Carter said in a statement released by the center.

″In the face of repeated condemnation, harassment and sometimes even physical abuse, the members of these two groups have not wavered in their determination to expose, condemn and prevent violations of human rights.″

Dominique de Menil, of Houston, president of the Carter-Menil Foundation, said that by giving the award the foundation ″hopes to highlight the urgent need to support all parties in the region that are actively engaged in the search for justice, human rights and peace.″

Al-Haq was founded in 1979 to identify and document human rights violations. B’Tselem was founded last February to respond to a lack of debate among Israelis on human rights issues.

The Carter-Menil Foundation’s advisory committee, which nominates award recipients, is made up of members of several human rights organizations.

Previous winners were Soviet dissident Yuri Orlov and the Group for Mutual Support of Guatemala, an organization of family members of Guatemalans who have vanished in political and military violence, in 1986; La Vicaria de Solidaridad of Chile in 1987; and, in 1988, the Sisulu family of South Africa.

The Sisulu family patriarch, Walter Sisulu, an anti-apartheid leader, was freed in October after more than 25 years in prison.

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