ISRAEL/Gaza Strip -Deadly attack on aid flotilla: FIDH denounces a tragedy, a direct consequence of impunity

Press release
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31st May, 2010 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) expresses its indignation following the deadly attack led by Israeli forces on the aid flotilla which, according to initial reports, resulted in the death of 19 international activists and the wounding of 50 others.

"This tragedy is the inevitable consequence of impunity prevailing in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and a total disregard of international law by the Israeli authorities. The circumstances of this tragedy must be brought to light and those responsible must be held accountable and punished. An impartial and independent investigation should be opened without delay" said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President. “The Israeli practice of " no accountability” once again confirmed after Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 can only encourage such criminal practices" added Belhassen.

The continuous illegal closure of the Gaza Strip imposed since June 2007 which caused unprecedented humanitarian crisis is at the heart of this new criminal episode. It is the responsibility of the international community to impose the full opening of the Gaza Strip and to take all necessary measures to ensure access of the humanitarian aid to the civilian population, to put an end to impunity and thus uphold the rule of law.

Press Contacts: Karine Appy/Fabien Maitre + 33 1 43 55 14 12 / + 33 1 43 55 90 19

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