Immediate, effective and concrete measures to end Israeli oppression of Palestinians

26/05/2021
Open Letter
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DECLARATION:
Five immediate, effective, and concrete measures to put an end to the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people

While the international community welcomes the ceasefire agreement reached by the warring parties, which saved lives after 11 days of deadly clashes, there remains an urgent need to end the impunity and address the root causes of this cycle of violence.

In view of the very heavy toll of agressive Israeli attacks on Palestinians, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and its member organisations call on the international community to take immediate, effective and concrete measures to put an end to the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, to violations of international law and to possible war crimes.

With the de facto annexation already underway for many years through various Israeli policies, including, inter alia, continuous appropriation of Palestinian land and property, and the establishment and expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements, it is important that the international community’s response addresses the root causes of the Palestinian struggle with a view to ending impunity for these crimes.

The recent escalation broke out after the looming expulsion of eight Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem. These families are refugees themselves. They were settled in Sheikh Jarrah area in coordination with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), after they were forcibly expelled from their hometowns during the Nakba of 1948. Inherent in its settler-colonial and apartheid regime, Israel’s policy of fragmentation, dispossession, demographic manipulation, and population transfer to evict Palestinians and replace them with Israelis, continues to be carried out with impunity. This repeating cycle of violence is a result of the protracted impunity granted to Israel for its violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights laws, which we fear will escalate further and repeat itself in case of de-escalation, should there never be consequences for committing violations of international law.

During 11 days, Israel has disproportionately escalated its attacks on Palestinians. In flagrant violation of international law, Israeli occupying forces and settlers have invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and used excessive force against worshippers, demonstrators and bystanders.

Israeli air strikes in Gaza have killed more than 230 Palestinians so far, including at least 62 children and 34 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. Since the Israeli air strikes on Gaza began, at least 2,400 Palestinians have been injured, and this number is expected to rise as paramedics continue to conduct search operations. More than 58,000 people have been displaced by the hostilities in Gaza and many are seeking shelter in UNRWA schools as Israel prevents humanitarian aid from entering the Gaza Strip. Public property protected under international humanitarian law, such as medical clinics, media outlets, the Legislative Council, schools and cultural centers, and infrastructure such as water, electricity, and roads, amongst others, have also been targeted, which could constitute serious violations of international law and may well amount to war crimes.

At the same time, twelve Israeli civilians, including two children, have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza by Palestinian armed groups into Israeli urban areas. It is to be underlined that intentionally directing attacks against civilians, and intentionally launching disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks constitute violations of international humanitarian law.

In such context, the actions undertaken within international justice and accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation on the Situation in Palestine, are an essential barrier to the cycle of violations. It is necessary here to recall that, last April, representatives of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah sent a letter, endorsed by more than 190 organizations, to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, asking to include urgently the imminent forced displacement of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah as part of the open investigation.

Today, it is necessary to ensure that violations of international law are not repeated and do not go unpunished. We therefore call on the international community to take five immediate, effective and concrete steps to end the cycles of violence and impunity and protect the Palestinian people:

  • Call on States to declare an embargo on the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer of all arms and munitions to the belligerent parties;
  • Publicly and actively support accountability efforts, including the ongoing investigation by the ICC into international crimes committed in Palestine (including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank);
  • Call for the establishment of an independent investigation into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law be it in Palestine (including in Gaza and the West Bank) or in Israel; and
  • Take targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights violations and serious breaches of international humanitarian law, encouraging the international community to take a firm stand in this regard;
  • Urge Israel to comply with its legal obligation to lift the blockade of Gaza and to end its discriminatory laws and practices as well as its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
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  • Co-signatories

    Signatories :
    • Afghanistan - Armanshahr/ Open Asia
    • Albania - Albanian Human Rights Group
    • Armenia - Civil Society Institute
    • Bangladesh – Odhikar
    • Bolivia - Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia
    • Botswana - Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Centre For Human Rights
    • Brasil - Justiça Global
    • Brasil - Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos
    • Canada - Ligue des Droits et Libertés (LDL) - Québec
    • Chile - Corporacion de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo
    • Dominican Republic - Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos
    • Ecuador - Accion Ecológica
    • Ecuador - Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos
    • Ecuador - Fundación Regional de Asesoria en Derechos Humanos
    • El Salvador - Comision de Derechos Humanos del Salvador
    • Finland - Finnish League for Human Rights
    • France - Ligue des Droits de l’Homme
    • Germany - Internationale Liga Fur Menschenrechte
    • Guinea - Organisation Guinéenne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme
    • Guinea Bissau - Liga Guineense dos Direitos Humanos
    • Gulf - Gulf Centre for Human Rights
    • Haiti - Réseau National de Défense des Droits de l’Homme
    • Honduras - Centro de Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos
    • Honduras - Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras
    • India - Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons
    • India - Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
    • India - People’s Watch
    • Iran - League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
    • Ireland - Free Legal Advice Centres
    • Laos – Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de L’Homme
    • Latvia - Latvian Human Rights Committee
    • Lebanon - Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council
    • Malaysia - Suara Rakyat Malaysia
    • Maldives - Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN)
    • Mexico - Comision Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos
    • Mexico - Liga Mexicana Por La Defensa de Los Derechos Humanos
    • Morocco – Association Marocaine pour les Droits Humains
    • Myanmar - Altsean Burma
    • Pakistan - Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
    • Palestine - Al Haq
    • Palestine - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
    • Palestine - Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies
    • Peru - Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos
    • Portugal - Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos Humanos – Civitas
    • Senegal - Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme
    • Spain - Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de Espana
    • Switzerland - Ligue Suisse des Droits de l’Homme
    • Syria - Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
    • Thailand - Manushya Foundation
    • The Netherlands - Liga Voor de Rechten Van de Mens
    • Tunisia - Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates
    • Turkey - Insan Haklari Dernegi (IHD) / Ankara
    • UK - Committee on the Administration of Justice
    • USA - Center For Constitutional Rights
    • Yemen - Mwatana

  • Member organisations - Israel & Palestine
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  • Member organisations - Israel & Palestine
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