Joint Statement: Human Rights Organizations Calls on the International Community to Immediately Act to Stop and the Israeli Offensive and Protect Palestinian Civilians

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Source: PCHR

Date: 9 july 2014

Israeli occupation forces have continued to escalate their offensive against Palestinian civilians and their property. Israeli forces had launched daily attacks in the form of indiscriminate airstrikes aimed to terrify Palestinian civilians before officially declaring launching a military offensive codenamed "Operation Protective Edge." Since the initiation of this offensive, Israel has unbridled its war machines bombing and destroying civilian facilities using excessive force. As a result, 36 Palestinians have been killed and more than 350 others have been wounded, most of them are woman children.

Israeli forces have perpetrated human rights violations reminding of the atrocities they committed during "Operation Cast Lead" (2008-2009) and "Operation Pillar of Defense" (2012). For instance, Israeli warplanes bombarded a house belonging to the Kaware’ family in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, destroying it, killing 7 civilians, including 5 children, and wounding 28 others who were around and on the roof of the house.

In another crime, on Tuesday evening, 08 July 014, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a house belonging to Mohammed Ahmed Hamad in Hamad Street in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. As a result, 6 members of the family, including 3 women, were killed.

Based on the field conditions, the undersigned human rights organizations believe that intimidating and terrifying Palestinian civilians and causing losses of lives and property have been a clear objective of the ongoing military attacks, which have been launched by warplanes, battleships and field artilleries. The escalation of bombardment overnight under the ongoing electricity outages terrifies children and limits people’s ability to move and provide assistance to the victims.

The human rights organizations strongly condemn the escalating Israeli offensive, and stress that the international community’s neglect of their legal obligations towards the civilian population, including ignoring the Advisory Opinion issued ten years ago by the International Court of Justice concerning the Wall in the West Bank and the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report), has enhanced impunity in committing grave breaches of the international law, which encourages Israeli forces to commit more crimes against the Palestinian civilian population.

The signatories of this statement stress that the attacks launched by Israeli forces amount to the level of war crimes, especially as they systematically target civilians and their property, and deliberately bombard houses and public and private property. Therefore, the signatories call upon the international community to immediately and effectively act to fulfill their legal and moral obligations towards the Palestinian civilian population through stopping the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, providing protection for civilians and activating mechanism of accountability and prosecution of those who order or commit war crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property in the Gaza Strip. They further call upon President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in order to prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals and ensure they do not enjoy impunity.

See online : http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/i...

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