UPDATE Friday, 3/18/11, 7:35pm: The UN appointed Committee of Independent Experts released their updated assessment of the Israeli and Palestinian domestic investigations into violations of international law committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups during the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict. It is this assessment which is going to be reviewed and debated by members of the Human Rights Council Monday, March 21st. (See below).
UPDATE Friday, 3/18/11, 7:25pm: Amnesty Int’l just released their updated assessment of the Israeli and Palestinian domestic investigations.
Original Post: Next Monday, March 21st, the Human Rights Council (HRC) will consider a critical report. The report assesses the Israeli and Palestinian investigations into serious violations of international law committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups during the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict.
This report is expected to match a similar assessment submitted to the HRC last September that concluded that both the Israeli government and the Palestinian side have failed to carry out investigations that are credible, independent and in conformity with international law.They have also failed to demonstrate a commitment to prosecuting perpetrators. AI’s assessment concurs with these findings.
Despite clear documentation last September that both Israel and Hamas, the de facto administration in Gaza, were falling short of their obligations, Amnesty was shocked and dismayed to see the Human Rights Council fail to outline a clear plan for accountability and instead opt for delay.
AI wants HRC members to know that AI members worldwide are expecting real results this time.
The United States must show strong leadership and urge the HRC to take concrete measures to bring justice to the victims. If the U.S. supports accountability and justice again, as they recently did with Libya in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), then other members of the HRC will be hard-pressed not to follow.
The UNSC made the right decision in referring Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for serious human rights violations against civilian demonstrators. If they can do this for the victims in Libya, then they should also do so for the victims of the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict, where war crimes by both sides have already been extensively documented.
The U.N. has shown that it can take rapid, meaningful action on a human rights situation needing attention and the U.S. has proven its willingness to utilize the international justice process. It is now vital that the U.S. build on the meaningful action it took with Libya and end the environment of impunity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well by addressing human rights abuses equitably in the HRC – regardless of which countries are involved.
March 7th, AI delegates presented the President of the HRC a petition with almost 67,000 signatures urging the HRC to stop delaying justice and pass a resolution establishing concrete measures to help pave the way for the U.N. Security Council to refer this situation to the ICC.
Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve accountability, justice and reparations and it’s time for the international justice process to be allowed to continue.
Join Amnesty members and other human rights advocates around the world. Send a clear message to Secretary of State Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, demanding justice for ALL victims of the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict. Enough is enough. The time for accountability and justice is now – for everyone.