Israel/Gaza: International Monitors and Arms Embargo Needed NOW

A doctor checks vital signs of haneen Tafish by light of his mobile phone in Al Shifa hospital, Gaza City, November 15, 2012. Haneen Tafish eventually died from her injuries. (Photo: Anne Paq/

Amnesty International is calling for the  prompt deployment of international monitors and an arms embargo on both Israel and armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas de facto administration in Gaza, to offer more civilian protections immediately and monitor and document violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Since the assassination by Israel of Hamas leader Ahmad al-Ja’abari on November 14 in Gaza City, there has been an escalation of violence between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza that has left scores dead and injured.  The conflict shows no signs of abating and looks to be repeating the same mistakes made during operation ‘Cast Lead’ four years ago.


What's AI's Take on Obama's Exec Orders?

Weekend reading: Amnesty International’s detailed analysis of President Obama’s executive orders on Guantanamo, detentions and interrogations

Here’s a taste:

Accountability and remedy

The new administration and Congress should take the necessary measures to ensure accountability and remedy for human rights violations committed by or at the instigation of the USA, including by, among other things:

Setting up an independent commission of inquiry into all aspects of the USA’s detention and interrogation policies and practices since 11 September 2001.

Ensuring that all allegations of particular violations of individuals’ rights under international human rights or humanitarian law are thoroughly and effectively investigated.

Ensuring that all those responsible for crimes under international law are brought to justice, including through criminal prosecution with sentences that take account of the grave nature of the acts concerned.

Amnesty International’s full recommendations on accountability are set out in USA: Investigation, prosecution, remedy: Accountability for human rights violations in the ‘war on terror’.

AIUSA Letter to George Mitchell

In a letter posted today to newly dispatched Middle East Envoy, AIUSA made the following recommendations:

Amnesty International urges the US to support the establishment of a comprehensive independent international inquiry set up by the UN and preferably by the Security Council  into all allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups participating in the conflict. An international fact-finding team of qualified experts should carry out its investigations on the basis of the highest international standards. It must have powers to gain access to all relevant documents, other evidence and persons, and its report and findings must be public so that follow-action can be taken. The US must not fail to respond to domestic and worldwide expressions of concern that international humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld in Gaza, that accountability for violations be established and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

In other news, President Barack Obama gave his first televised interview since entering office with the Dubai based TV station Al Arabiya. In his interview, he spoke directly to citizens of Muslim majority countries, and highlighted the importance of resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict. For a complete transcript of his interview, please see here