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RIGHTS PRIZE GOES TO GROUPS ON BOTH SIDES

SHARE RIGHTS PRIZE GOES TO GROUPS ON BOTH SIDES

Palestinian and Israeli organizations Saturday were jointly awarded the fourth annual Carter-Menil Human Rights Prize for their work to end human rights abuses in Israeli-occupied territories.

"Our honorees today have exhibited a special kind of courage," former President Jimmy Carter said in presenting the award, "not only risking their personal safety, but risking the condemnation of their friends and neighbors in speaking out for compassion, justice reconciliation and peace."Houston philanthropist Domnique de Menil assisted Carter in presenting the award at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the United Nations International Declaration of Human Rights.

Carter and Menil created the award in 1986 to honor individuals or groups they feel fight for the rights of oppressed people.

Fateh Azzam, administrative director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, received the award on behalf of the 10-year-old organization, which documents abuses in Israel's West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mona Rishmawi, executive director of the organization, also was present to receive the award and half of a $100,000 prize.

B'Tselem, the Israeli organization that received the award, was formed in February. It is composed of a group of Israeli lawyers, intellectuals, physicians, journalists and Knesset members.

The organization was founded by Knesset member Dedi Zucker to educate the Israeli public about the treatment of Palestinians living in the occupied territories and to foster public debate about the scope of human rights violations.