War crimes in Israel and Palestine: UNSC called to react

Press release
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Attacks on Israel and in and around the Gaza Strip which caused the death of at least 76 people can be qualified as war crimes.

FIDH urges the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups to stop hostilities and guarantee the protection of civilian lives. The UN security council cannot evade its responsibility in this regard.

The tensions that have raised since the killing of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenagers respectively in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are escalating into an open conflict between Israel and armed groups in Gaza.

On July 7, 2014, Israel launched a military offensive, Operation “Protective Edge”, striking at least 500 [1] sites in the Gaza Strip, and carrying out dozens more air strikes, killing at least 76 people, among them 20 children and 10 women injuring more than 400, mostly civilians, according to figures gathered by Al Mezan and PCHR, FIDH member organisations in Gaza. It is also reported that the Israeli Military have deliberately targeted homes and civilian facilities; often without warning.These operations amount to prohibited collective punishment. In the meantime, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have been firing more than 169 rockets into Israel, targeting without discrimination Israeli civilians.

«The Israeli military actions and the rising number of Palestinian rockets fired need to be condemned, as both constitute violations of international humanitarian law. Responsibilities and accountability need to be addressed » said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

« This is History repeating itself. The UN Security Council needs to intervene and cannot evade its Responsibility to Protect civilians » he added.

Our organization urges the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups to end violence against the civilians and stop the hostilities.

Since 2008, violations of international humanitarian law have been committed in total impunity by both parties, in particular during the Israeli military operations “Pillar of Defence” in November 2012 and “Cast Lead” in December 2008 until January 2009. 
While justice is essential to deter further the crimes and to build any peace process, impunity has since been the rule and Occupation of Palestine by Israel had kept developing. FIDH recalls its analysis that the current situation falls within the jurisdiction of the ICC and its call for the ICC to be triggered according to appropriate channels.

FIDH supports its members’ call for an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly of State parties to the Geneva Conventions to be convened urgently by Switzerland as the depositary of these Conventions.

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