25 May 2009

Israeli authorities must authorize access to the Gaza Strip!

The International Federation for Human Rights denounces the Israeli decision to deny its representatives access to Gaza.

FIDH had introduced on April 22nd, 2009 a request to enter Gaza through the Erez entry point, to conduct a mission from May 24th to May 31st, composed of prominent judges and lawyers from France and Germany.

The purpose of the mission was to investigate grave human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by the Israeli army and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip during the "Cast Lead" military operation.

FIDH recalls that in April 2009, representatives of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) were denied access to Gaza in similar circumstances.

FIDH strongly condemns the systematic denial of access to human rights delegations in a context where strong presumptions of grave violations of human rights during the last military operation in the Gaza Strip have been denounced by human rights organizations, both Palestinian and Israeli, as well as by international delegations.

This policy is all the more concerning that no independent inquiry is being led by the Israeli authorities on these alleged violations. In this regard, FIDH recalls that, following testimonies made by soldiers who had participated in this military operation, a military investigation has been opened and hastily closed in March. An independent and impartial investigation remains essential in order to ensure that those responsible be brought to justice.

More generally, the population of the Gaza Strip continues more than ever to suffer from grave shortages of food and medecines, thus further deteriorating the humanitarian situation.

FIDH joins the call of the international community to lift the blocus on Gaza and to guarantee full access to human rights delegations and humanitarian organisations.
Last Update 25 May 2009

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