During the 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC—June 15- July 3, 2015) one of the central topics of discussion was “the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry [COI] on the 2014 Gaza conflict.” The COI’s report was initially headed by William Schabas and then taken over by Mary McGowan Davis after the former’s resignation over his undisclosed paid work for the PLO.

On June 29 the topic was presented to the Council, where a number of highly active political advocacy NGOs submitted oral and written statements, accusing Israel of “intentionally targeting the civilian population,” “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” “systematic human rights violations,” and “unlawful policies of impunity.” The statements also called for states to adopt BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) measures against Israel and echoed the “Commissioners’ support of international justice mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court [ICC].” The vast majority of the statements altogether omitted the numerous war crimes committed by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups against Israeli civilians.

These same groups, which receive extensive funding from European governments, had been highly instrumental in initiating calls for the UN to conduct a “fact-finding” investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes during the conflict. This foreign funding enables them to disseminate baseless and unverifiable allegations.

In fact, a number of the NGOs received “emergency funding” from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) for use in documenting “large scale violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – the majority against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects” in Gaza. The purpose of this emergency funding was to support “current and future documentation and investigation efforts by CSOs [civil society organizations] for the purposes of assisting and supporting national and international mechanisms” such as the UNHRC’s investigation and the campaign to open cases against Israelis in the ICC.

These groups do not employ professional fact-finding standards and lack credible research methodology, as well as the necessary legal and military expertise to make such allegations. Yet, these baseless and unverifiable claims are repeatedly cited in UN reports and voiced in the UH Human Rights Council, thereby fueling the international demonization and delegitimization campaign against Israel.

Table of Contents

Excerpts from NGO statements to the 29th session of the UNHRC

Oral Statements

Al Haq: Oral Statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council, 29th Regular Session, Agenda Item 7

[According to its website, Al Haq’s “2014’s Partners” include: Bread for the World (Germany), Irish Aid (Ireland), Christian Aid (UK), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Diakonia (Sweden), Federal Government of Belgium, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Germany), ICCO (Netherlands), AECID (Spain), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint government funding of Sweden Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), UNDP, and Open Society Institute (US).]

  • … we reiterate the Commission’s concern that unlawful attacks by the Israeli Occupying Forces are part of the larger policy that ‘itself violates the laws of war.’
  • Israeli attacks of last summer were described in the Commission’s report as being systematic and widespread and intentionally targeted the civilian population.These attacks exacerbated pre-existing physical, psychological, social and economic impacts of the Israeli occupation, under which the Palestinian people are severely deprived of fundamental rights and are subject to systematic oppression.
  • We highlight particularly, the root causes of continued occupation- including Israeli profit derived from domination and control over Palestinian land and natural resources, including natural gas.
  • Israel is the occupying power in the longest-running military occupation. It must not be allowed to continue implementing such policies as collective punishment and persecution throughout the Occupied Territory.
  • Israeli military and political leadership, who drive such policies with impunity must be held to account.
  • … we echo the Commissioners’ support of international justice mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court.
  • We further highlight the need to exhaust all measures of international accountability – including sanctions, divestment, and legal action in national courts worldwide.

Al Haq: Oral Statement in the General Debate of the United Nations Human Rights Council

  • With a need to challenge unlawful Israeli policies of impunity and oppression, the occupied Palestinian population continues to seek justice though the UN. Here, we face another obstacle – the Israeli occupying power is consistently waging campaigns to obstruct the work of the UN as a forum for genuine dialogue and accountability.
  • The occupation of Palestine is not only the longest running military operation; it is also characterized by daily and systematic human rights violations. It, therefore, demands that all Member States of the Council participate fully and positively under this agenda item as a critical step towards justice and non-repetition of longstanding violations of International law.

Al Mezan Oral Statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council, June 29, 2015

[2014 donors include: EU, Diakonia (Sweden), Norwegian Refugee Council, Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Heinrich Boll Foundation (Germany), Oxfam- Great Britain, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands), Open Society Institute (US), Save the Children (UK), UNDP, and others.]

  • Millions of Palestinians suffered death, loss, and trauma due to armed unlawful attacks likely amounting to war crimes.
  • … we can only expect worse things to come if impunity is not swiftly and properly tackled.
  • Israeli’s justice system has been tested enough and indicates a stark unwillingness to serve justice.
  • … the dozens of attacks on inhabited homes annihilating entire families; or the indiscriminate attacks on residential areas deemed ‘sterile’ despite the clear sight of fleeing civilians.
  • Nor is it clearer that when civilians are used as human shields or detainees abused and tortured.
  • … it is clear that impunity is endemic.
  • There are no sides here. Only victims and perpetrators. Those without access to justice domestically have no other option but to seek legal remedy from an international justice mechanism. They look to you to support the ICC’s preliminary examination towards ending impunity and preventing worse violations.

Al Mezan Oral Intervention, June 29, 2015

  • All of these years, Palestinian civilians in Gaza have been punished and had their rights violated. They are collectively left without access to proper medical care, housing, family, work or natural resources.
  • All of these years, they have had no access to sources of justice a serious combination reflecting on-going persecution.
  • Justice for Gaza residents cannot be imagined without international intervention to secure accountability and end the policy of closure.
  • The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism is not the answer. Nor can it be. There is no need for bureaucratic, dysfunctional mechanisms that foil the reconstruction efforts. Nor easings that institutionalize an unlawful policy… The closure must be lifted without further delay to allow the population of Gaza to rebuild and live in dignity.

BADIL, Oral statement under agenda item 7, Commission of Inquiry Report: Significant Conclusions and avoidable Weakness

[BADIL does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability. Research reveals that it receives funding from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands). BADIL has also received funding from DanChurch Aid (Denmark) and Trociare (Ireland)].

  • BADIL welcomes the report of the Commission of Inquiry as an important step towards the realization of accountability for perpetrators of international crimes and towards the delivery of justice to victims. To this end, the report arrives at a number of highly significant conclusions, but also, regrettably, suffers from a number of ambiguities and omissions.
  • The report details the thousands of Palestinian deaths which resulted from Israel’s 50-days assault on the Gaza Strip, highlighting Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians and civilian objects which were conducted in the absence of any legal justification, and links such attacks to a ‘broader policy’ approved by the highest echelons of the Israeli government.
  • The report also makes clear that Israeli practices failed to comply with two central principles of International Humanitarian Law – those of distinction and proportionality. It also reaffirmed that the Gaza Strip is subject to military occupation by Israel, whilst simultaneously detailing a number of critical failures in Israel’s own investigatory processes.
  • Yet the report is also weakened by key structural failures.
  • No effort is made to consider those policy crimes identified through the appropriate lens of crimes against humanity. This is particularly surprising given the Commission’s mandate to perform its functions ‘with a view to ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable’, which would demand that all acts are considered against the most grave criminal offences supported by the evidence at hand.
  • Nor did the report consider the legal implications of Israel’s forced displacement of half a million Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip, with 100,000 Palestinians remaining displaced today. Given the scale of this displacement and the status of specific acts of forced displacement as war crimes or crimes against humanity, the failure to apply the framework of IHL and relevant international customary rules in this regard is a truly dangerous and inexplicable oversight.
  • Despite its shortcoming, however, the report does present a concrete opportunity to bring accountability, and to deliver justice. BADIL therefore calls upon UN agencies, regional bodies, individual states and other relevant actors to ensure the report’s recommendations are enacted in full. To fail to do so is to fail the victims of these brutal acts, and to promote the perpetration of the very crimes which such investigations seek to punish.

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, Israel’s armed forces and grave violations of children’s rights, June 29, 2015

[Donors include: ICCO and Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), Bread for the World (Germany), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), HEKS (Switzerland), French Consulate, Mundubat (Spain), Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederlands (Netherlands), ARCI Cultura e Sviluppo (Italy), Save the Children International, United Methodist Church, United Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Open Society, World Vision, UNDP, UNICEF, others.]

  • During Israel’s most recent military offensive on Gaza, Israeli armed forces carried out direct attacks on civilian homes and other civilian buildings…
  • … the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict presented its report, which painstakingly details the degree to which Palestinian children were savagely affected by Israel’s military assault on Gaza.
  • In a context where systemic impunity is the status quo, the need for justice and accountability is urgent.
  • While we welcome the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry, concrete action must be taken by this council to challenge the status quo of systemic impunity enjoyed by Israeli forces.

Human Rights Watch statement to the UN Human Rights Council: Gaza Commission of Inquiry Report

  • The report rightly condemns Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for serious violations of the laws of war, some of which may amount to war crimes. We note the devastating impact of the fighting in Gaza, where 1,462 Palestinian civilians lost their lives, one-third of them children. In Israel, six civilians were killed. The report found the attacks causing many of these civilians deaths were unlawful.
  • We call for ending unjustified restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza to facilitate reconstruction and revive the economy.
  • A key conclusion of the report is that, despite extensive violations in this and previous conflicts, a culture of impunity prevails.
  • The commission called on Israel to change its “lamentable track record in holding wrongdoers accountable” and said that Hamas has “consistently failed” to bring violators to justice. These conclusions match Human Rights Watch’s findings that neither side has shown a willingness to investigate seriously, much less prosecute, abuses by its own forces.
  • The standard required by international humanitarian law is not just to investigate low-level soldiers who might have committed crimes but also the commanders and senior officials who set policies that led to unlawful attacks. Regarding Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, that would include those responsible for indiscriminate mortar and rocket fire into Israeli population centers. For Israel, that would include those responsible for, among other things, deliberate attacks on occupied residential buildings without an apparent legitimate military target and the indiscriminate use of artillery and other explosive weapons in populated areas.
  • We join the commission’s call on all relevant parties to cooperate with the ICC during its current preliminary examination and later if it opens a formal investigation. To break the culture of impunity, we also support calls for the Human Rights Council to review the implementation of recommendations from this and previous reports by commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions, the Secretary-General and others.

Medical Aid for Palestinians Oral Statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council, June 29, 2015

[According to available information, donors include: EUUK, Australia, Ireland, Trocaire (Ireland), Netherlands, UNICEF, UN Central Emergency Response Fund, The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and Big Lottery Fund (Britain)]

  • Three large-scale military offensives in six years, four in ten years, and the continuing 8-year closure and blockade of Gaza have placed extreme pressures on Gaza’s health sector and the realization of the right to health for Palestinians.
  • … The continuation of impunity has only led to worsening conditions.
  • The Commission’s report highlights several cases of attacks on medical infrastructure and personnel, as well as incidents where medical access to the wounded was obstructed. Ensuring the prevention of further incidents of this kind is a legal, political and medical imperative for the international community.

Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oral statement, June 29, 2015

  • If we compare the 2008/2009 war with last summer we see a major escalation in the scale and intensity of attacks on the health sector and those working in it… There was also a tripling of the number of ambulances targeted to the point that after Shijaiyah Market massacre patients started refusing to get into ambulances preferring to be brought to Shifa hospital by car.
  • The health sector is struggling to deal with these injuries while it is being crippled by the blockade.
  • As a doctor who believes that prevention is better than cure I am here to impress on you the need to end the cycle of impunity which has fueled the escalation in ferocity of attacks.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) Oral Statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council

  • FIDH welcomes your report, which underlines the unprecedented scale of devastation during the 2014 Gaza conflict and confirms that violations of international law, which may amount to war crimes, were committed.
  • We also welcome your recognition that the blockade on the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel has created a tremendous sense of entrapment for the population.
  • …in addition to war crimes – i.e., the Israeli army’s failure to abide by the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and its targeting of civilians – documents what may amount to crimes against humanity: the deprivation of the Palestinian population of its means of subsistence through damage and destruction wrought upon electricity and water infrastructure, as well as economic and agricultural assets, in a systematic way and as part of state policy before “Operation Protective Edge” and reinforces thereafter.
  • The 50-day offensive against Gaza took place in a context of continued violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem.
  • We condemn violations committed by all parties, but the ultimate reality is that of occupation and of structural imbalance of forces, of violations committed, and of casualties.
  • In a context of pervasive impunity, the relevance of the Human Rights Council will lie in its ability to effectively contribute to the advancement of accountability for international crimes.
  • We call on this Council to adopt a resolution condemning violations committed by all parties and the ineffectiveness of domestic investigation and redress mechanisms, calling on states to fully cooperate with the ICC and on the Commission to transmit its report and all documents in its possession to the ICC Prosecutor, and establishing a comprehensive review of the implementation of relevant recommendations by UN bodies and mechanisms. We also call on states to exercise universal jurisdiction with regard to international crimes.
  • … we reiterate our call on Israel to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC.

World Council of Churches, Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, June 29, 2015

[Donors include: Norway, Bread for the World (Germany), Christian Aid (UK), DanChurch Aid (Denmark), Finn Church Aid (Finland), Norwegian Church Aid (Norway), ICCO (Netherlands), Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), UNICEF, as well as numerous other churches and church aid organizations.]

  • The Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches would like to express its concern about the large-scale evictions and demolitions in the West-Bank.
  • The 340 residents of Susyia, many of them children, are now facing another imminent risk of forced displacement with demolition orders on all 114 structures located in Area C including homes, animal shelters, water cisterns, latrines, two health clinics, a school and a kindergarten.
  • … we would like to stress that Israel is an occupying power on this land…
  • … we call… [on the] Human Rights Council and the international community to take firm steps: to ensure that the Government of Israel refrains from demolitions and evictions…; to advocate for the forced transfer of the planning authority in Area C to Palestinians.
  • … we call… [on the] International Criminal Court to include investigations on forcible transfer of population in the West-Bank in its preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine.
  • … we call… [on] Donors: to hold the Government of Israel financially accountable for demolitions of projects they have funded.

American Association of Jurists – Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, Interactive dialogue with the Independent Commission of Inquiry

  • The ICI, in citing OCHA’s report, underlines the disproportionate use of force by the Occupying Israeli Forces: the use of artillery and heavy weapons in residential neighborhoods… As a consequence, this caused the destruction of 18,000 housing units, 73 medical facilities, sources of the electricity and water networks and the sanitation infrastructure; the displacement of 28% of the population the death of 1,462 civilians and 11,231 injured.
  • In the context of the long-standing colonial occupation of the Palestinian territory by the State of Israel, the American Association of Jurists considers the blockade of the Gaza Strip, imposed in 2007, as a major crime against humanity that has to be stopped immediately. Similarly, the American Association of Jurists considers the continuing implementation of the occupation policy of the Palestinian territory by the State of Israel, materialized by the continuous expansion of settlements, as a war crime that has to be stopped immediately.
  • We call upon all States to freeze all financial and technical military cooperation programs with Israel and to implement a “Boycott- Divestment- Sanctions” policy towards the occupier as called for by the Palestinian civil society.

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Oral Statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council, June 29, 2015

We recall the COI considerations that this report should be viewed in the context of the “structural issues that fuel the conflict.” Specifically denial of Palestinian self-determination through prolonged occupation, and the fragmentation and annexation of land through the construction of separation walls, settlements, the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and the 8 years long blockade of Gaza Strip. These illegal policies remain the root causes of the recurring violence. It must be noted the blockade constitutes collective punishment…

A complex web of laws and regulations has created a system designed to ensure impunity for violations committed against Palestinians.

Like the COI we are deeply disturbed “by Israel’s decision to close its criminal investigation into the case of the killing of four children on the beach in Gaza on 16 July 2014.” This case is a blatant example of the pattern of impunity that reigns in Israel for grave violations of international law committed in the OPT.

The time has come for the international accountability mechanisms. We second the Committee’s call for the States to support the work of the ICC.

Undermining international justice will further escalate violations of International law in the OPT and fundamentally undermine the core principles of international law in the ICC.

Our organizations call on all member states to support the commission recommendations that the Council consider conducting a comprehensive review of the implementation of recommendations addressed to the parties, in particular those pertaining to this current commission of inquiry and the fact-finding mission in the aftermath of Cast Lead in 2009.

International Federation of Journalists

  • Palestinian media were heavily attacked during the conflict, and the report could not find a single case when the IDF gave them a warning. Instead, media offices at Al Jawhara Media Tower, vehicles and media professionals were targeted with high velocity weapons. Such cases of directly and intentionally striking a civilian building, with no specific military objective, amount to a violation of the principle of distinction and is a war crime under international criminal law.
  • The IFJ has backed calls that Israel must “respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the main principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution”, and the urgent need to establish credible, effective and transparent accountability mechanisms.
  • We will continue to campaign for a competent tribunal to uphold the right of all victims and their families to an effective remedy and that those responsible for these crimes are tried and punished.

International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention, June 29, 2015

  • The systematic human rights violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territories have dramatic consequences especially for Palestinian children due to the large number of attacks on civilians causing death and massive destruction.
  • Indeed, children are often the victims of missile attacks on schools, homes or even public hospitals.
  • Children’s suffering is not limited to physical injuries, but also psychological traumas such as post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.
  • When stone-throwing Palestinian children are jailed, abused, traumatized, tortured, forced to stay in isolation in their cells, day and night, deprived of their inalienable rights to live as children live everywhere in this world, why is the Human Rights Council more divided than united in calling upon Israel to honor its international obligations, including the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Children are the first victims of occupation.

Statement by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) on behalf of the Palestinian Women National Coalition of 1325 on the accountability for human rights violations in Palestine, June 29, 2015

  • The Council has the mandate, and must produce the political will, to act decisively, to end Israeli impunity…
  • There is a collective responsibility to guaranty the fulfilment of Palestinian human rights including their right to freedom and self-determination by bringing an end to the military occupation of Palestine and the continuous violence.
  • We, the national Palestinian women coalition call on all member states of the Human Rights Council to ensure that the findings of the Commission form a base for developing immediate concrete adequate accountability measures to prevent the recurrence of Israeli human rights violations and provide justice for Palestinian victims.
  • We urge the Human Rights Council to support and uphold a special session on the human rights situation of Palestinian women both under occupation and in refugee camps.

Written Statements

Joint written statement submitted by Adalah, Al Haq and Al Mezan

Addressing Persistent Failures of Israeli Domestic Investigations and Necessary Steps to End Israeli Impunity, May 25, 2015

  • We are deeply concerned, and request intervention by the HRC to effectively address: The ongoing lack of domestic accountability in Israel for serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL), such as those committed in the context of repeated Israeli military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, but also in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem); Israel’s persistent non-cooperation with independent international investigations, such as the HRC’s 2009 Fact-Finding Mission into the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Mission) and the Council’s current Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, as well as the relevant UN Special Procedures; and Israel’s unlawful prolonged military occupation of the OPT, including the eight-year closure/blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is the root cause of recurring violence and ongoing violations of the human rights of Palestinians.
  • The lack of accountability in Israel for its repeated severe violations of IHL and IHRL fosters a culture of impunity that ensures the repetition of its devastating military assaults, and the continuation of its prolonged military occupation of the OPT.

Joint statement by Al Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Immediate action needed to guarantee accountability: Israel’s persistent impunity is the root cause to the continuing deterioration of human rights in the OPT, May 25, 2015

  • Israel’s systematic policies and practices against the Palestinians continue to lead to serious violations of preemptory norms of international law, grave breaches of International Humanitarian Law, and the complete disregard to International Human Rights Law norms and standards.
  • From 1948 onwards, the Palestinian people have been unceasingly victims to international crimes, while deprived of adequate means to seek justice and remedies.
  • The domestic Israeli legal system continues to substantially not adhere to the international law requirements, thus not only denying Palestinians accountability, but also providing the green light for consecutive Israeli governments to commit the same patterns of violations against the Palestinians.
  • Israel’s deliberate attacks on hospitals and the medical infrastructure in Gaza amounts to a gross violation of IHL as well as the possibility of amounting to war crimes.
  • The continuing wide range of flagrant abuses of rights perpetrated by Israel, coupled with the complete disregard to international mechanisms, must be met with a clear response from the UN member states adhering to their responsibility under International Law.
  • … we call on the HRC and member states to… Take strong measures to bring to an end Israeli impunity and bring Israel to immediately lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and cease collective punishment of Palestinians in the OPT, including East Jerusalem… Reiterate that Israeli violations of IHL and IHRL are rooted in Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the OPT. Declare that this regime of prolonged occupation, which [sic] its inherent features of racial discrimination and annexation, contradicts international law… Accountability must be pursued for all violation of human rights and humanitarian law, including medical personnel and infrastructure, during the 2014 attacks on Gaza.

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section

[Donors include: ICCO and Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), Bread for the World (Germany), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), HEKS (Switzerland), French Consulate, Mundubat (Spain), Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederlands (Netherlands), ARCI Cultura e Sviluppo (Italy), Save the Children International, United Methodist Church, United Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Open Society, World Vision, UNDP, UNICEF, others.]

Israel’s armed forces and grave violations of children’s rights, May 26, 2015

  • Investigations undertaken by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) into Palestinian child fatalities during Operation Protective  Edge found overwhelming  and  repeated  evidence  of  international  humanitarian  law violations committed by Israeli forces. These included direct attacks on children, and indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian homes, schools, and residential neighborhoods.
  • Missiles fired from Israeli drones and warplanes, artillery shelling, and shrapnel scattered by explosions killed children in their homes, on the street as they fled from attacks with their families, and as they sought shelter from the bombardment in schools.
  • Palestinian children have often paid the highest price in Israel’s repeated military offensives, while also suffering from a man-made humanitarian crisis created by Israel’s eight-year long blockade of Gaza. This has hindered any meaningful efforts toward implementing comprehensive protections for  children  living  in  the Gaza  Strip.  In a context where systemic impunity is the status quo, the need for justice and accountability is urgent.

Arab Association for Human Rights

  • The Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA), remains gravely concerned over policies and practices of Israel that adversely impact not only the Palestinians subject to the daily miseries and humiliations of the occupation, but also the Palestinian Arab minority in the State of Israel.
  • …developments in Israel that suggest a widespread and systematic pattern of discrimination and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Such policies violate both the letter and the spirit of various provisions of the international human rights law.

Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture

  • The ill prisoners in Al-Ramlah Jail, May 21, 2015
    • Not only don’t the prisoners in AL-Ramallah Jail get appropriate treatment for their illness, but also they are treated harshly as other prisoners in other jails, so they are subject to oppression, investigation, continuous punishment, possessions forfeit, and even sometimes medicine ban.
    • The prisoners in that jail called it Al-Ramallah butchery not a hospital since it lacks minimum needs of health life; really it doesn’t offer any medication.
    • The occupation crimes is not limited in not giving them suitable medicines, but it also deliberately prescribes wrong drugs that are irrelevant to their health problems, so this matter aggravates their conditions…
  • The occupation violated the heath rights of the arrest, May 21, 2015
    • The occupation tries slowly to kill the prisoners by adopting the policy of medical carelessness, so they are destined to be killed by the devastating infections…
    • Al Ramllah Hospital us not a real hospital, so the occupation practices inside it all kinds of oppression that endanger the prisoners’ lives… The Occupation doctors deliberately prescribe sometime wrong medications…
    • The Israeli occupation is the only entity in the world where the doctor shares in torturing the prisoners and blackmailing them…
    • … the occupation makes experiments of some medicines or other medical instruments on the handicapped prisoners.
    • The occupation holds the complete responsibility of the many infections that the prisoners have after releasing them. These infections are due to the hard conditions of the prisoners as well as the medicines given to them; these conditions and medicines increasingly endanger their lives even after release.
  • Certificates of ill prisoners in the Prisons of the Israeli Occupation, May 21, 2015
    • The prison administration always tries to give the patient various kinds of drugs to lose his mind, self-confidence, and every meaning for life, so the doctor exerts no effort while the pain increases and the medicine becomes useless.

Side Events

“Palestine: What Role for the Human Rights Council in Advancing Accountability,” June 29, 2015: Organized by Adalah, Al Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS), FIDH, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

Panel participants included: Rania Madi, UN Legal Advocacy Consultant for BADIL; Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al Haq (who has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization); Nicolas Agostini, FIDH Representative to the UN; and Issam Younis, Director General of Al Mezan.

Statements, according to FIDH’s Twitter page:

  • @alhaq_org Director, Israel must not be allowed to remain above the law, let justice take its course at #UN and #ICC (June 29, 2015)
  • @AlMezanCenter’s Issam Younis urges all parties to cooperate w the #ICC OTP for #accountability in #Palestine (June 29, 2015)
  • I hope the #Gaza COI report will find its way to the #ICC” says @alhaq_org’s Shawan Jabarin at #HRC29 side-event (June 29, 2015)

Statements according to BADIL’s Twitter feed/ Facebook:

  • “BADIL Resource Center on behalf of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) cordially invites you to our UNHRC side event. This event will include the honouring of Richard Falk for his commitment to human rights. Panelists Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur oPt and Fadi Quran from Al Haq Organization will speak about the responsibility of the UN to challenge Israel’s impunity in order to realize Palestinian human rights. The event will be chaired by Rania Madi from BADIL Resource Center.”

[Screen shot of Event]

“No More Impunity: Gaza Under Attack,” June 30, 2015: Organized by Adalah, Al Mezan, Defence for Children International- Palestine Section (DCI-PS), and Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

Panel participants included: Sawsan Zaher, Attorney for Adalah; Nuriya Oswald, Project Coordinator and International Advocacy Officer of Al Mezan; Ivan Karakashian, Advocacy Unit Coordinator for Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS); Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American University of Beirut. Bob Jones, Campaigns and Research Officer for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), moderated the event.

Adalah Facebook: Attorney Sawsan Zaher delivering an oral intervention to the UN HRC under Item 7, discussing the COI-Gaza report:

  • “The Commission’s report confirms what human rights organizations, including Adalah, have been emphasizing not only throughout the last war on Gaza but also in past wars: that Israel was severely violating international humanitarian and human rights law during its military operations, and that independent criminal investigations are required to hold those responsible to account.” (June 29, 2015)
  • “The COI report found that ‘impunity prevails across the board’ for violations of international law.” (June 29, 2015)
  • “Adalah found that Israel’s investigatory mechanisms failed to comply with international law requirements, and there is lack of access to justice for Gazans harmed by Israeli military.” (June 29, 2015)
  • “Israel closed the investigation into the killing of the four Bakr boys on the beach, claiming it was a ‘tragic mistake’; the Commission disagrees with this finding and questions Israel’s investigatory mechanisms.” (June 29, 2015)
  • “Council should adopt the recommendations of the COI, and urge the immediate end of the Occupation and closure on Gaza, which are root causes of human rights violations against Palestinians.” (June 29, 2015)

Flyer of Event