Palestine: At last, a ray of hope for the victims

FIDH applauds the wide support provided to the resolution adopted today by the UN Human Rights Council on “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”. Given the failure of domestic investigation and redress mechanisms, the Council’s message to both victims and perpetrators that accountability will be pursued at the international level deserved broad, unwavering support – which EU members states (including France, Germany and the United Kingdom) provided.

Failing to support a resolution entirely focused on accountability would have amounted to failing the victims and encouraging repetition of, and impunity for, international crimes, said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. By supporting this milestone resolution, the EU sends a message that things will never be the same and that impunity will not prevail, he added.

The resolution adopted today is carefully balanced so as to cover violations committed by all parties and focuses on ensuring accountability and non-repetition of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and thus breaking the cycle of impunity.

In the context of recurring international crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the international community, whose main body in charge of the promotion and protection of human rights is the Human Rights Council, therefore shows its determination to hold perpetrators to account and to provide victims with redress. The hope embodied by recent structural changes – Palestine’s acceptance of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the opening of a preliminary examination of the situation by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, and the ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC by Palestine – should be promoted by all states, including European states given their principled position in support of the international criminal justice system.

On 29 June 2015, the independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on the 2014 Gaza Conflict presented its report to the HRC. FIDH welcomed it, as it is in line with its findings that international crimes have been committed during the 2014 conflict The resolution adopted today follows up on the report of the independent Commission of Inquiry established by the Council to investigate international crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza conflict.

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