Archive for United Nations Fact Finding Commission on the Gaza Conflict

“Severe violations of Human Rights in Occupied Palestinian Territories,” reports UN Committee on Israeli Practices

Posted in Gaza, Gaza war crimes investigation, International community, Israeli occupation, Operation Cast Lead, Palestine, War crimes, West Bank with tags , , , , , , on 15/08/2009 by 3071km

Date published: 14th August 2009

Source: United Nations Office of the High Comissioner for Human Rights

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GENEVA – DAMASCUS: “Violations of the international humanitarian law during the operation Cast Lead, in particular the targeting of civilian population and wanton destruction of property and religious and cultural objects”, will be reported to the United Nations General Assembly by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

At the end of a ten-day field mission to three Middle Eastern countries, the Special Committee expressed “particular concern for an increasing number of incidents of violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinian population in the West Bank in the presence of Israeli army and police.”

The three-member panel has also recorded the pressure on human rights defenders, both Israeli and Palestinians working to alleviate the suffering in occupied territories.

Furthermore, at the General Assembly 64th session this year, the Committee will be noting “continuous and in some cases worsening violations of economic and cultural rights, in particular the right to education and health, further restrictions of movement and attacks on and destruction of Palestinian farmlands and orchards.”

Since its establishment in 1968, the Special Committee has repeatedly been denied cooperation by the Government of Israel or access to the OPT.

The Special Committee began its mission in Egypt on 04 August from where it traveled to Jordan and, finally, Syria, where it recorded the testimonies of witnesses and non-governmental organizations of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and occupied Golan.

The panel met the foreign ministers in Egypt, Jordan and Syria, as well as members of the League of Arab States, government officials, activists and representatives of Palestinian and Israeli non-governmental organizations. The Committee visited the Palestinian Hospital in Cairo where it heard about the difficulties in accessing health care and obtaining needed medications in the Gaza Strip.

On its last day in Syria, the Committee visited Quneitra and received testimonies pertaining to the discrimination in access to health services in occupied Golan, restrictions of family visits and other violations of civil, political, economic and cultural rights of Palestinians and Arab populations.

In its report to the General Assembly, the Committee will draw on exhaustive interviews and testimonies taken during its visits to Cairo, Amman and Damascus, as well as numerous reports by experts including the reports by the High Commissioner of Human Rights, special rapporteurs and many national and international non-governmental organizations. The Committee focused its investigation on the situation in occupied Gaza, West Bank, East Jerusalem and the occupied Golan.

The Special Committee is composed of three Member States: Sri Lanka (Chairman), Malaysia and Senegal. Ambassador Ali currently chairs the Special Committee, due to the absence of the Sri Lankan Ambassador. Senegal is represented by Ambassador Babacar Mbaye, Permanent Representative of that country to the UN in Geneva, while Ms. Samantha Jayasuriya, counsellor at the Sri Lankan Mission to the UN in New York, is representing her country.

Under varying membership,The Special Committee has existed since 1968 when it was established by the General Assembly. Its mandate was most recently renewed on 18 December 2008, in a resolution A/RES/63/95 referring to the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights.

AIC Testifies to UN Fact Finding Commission on Gaza Conflict: “Israeli Business Interests Determine Diet of Palestinians Under Siege in Gaza”

Posted in Gaza, Gaza war crimes investigation, International community, Israel, Operation Cast Lead, Palestine, Siege, War crimes with tags , , , , , on 05/07/2009 by 3071km

Date published: 4th July 2009
Source: Alternative Information Center (AIC)
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“The world should be aware of the human implications of Israel’s policy
of ‘no development, no prosperity’ in the Gaza Strip,” noted AIC
economist Shir Hever, as he testified today (2 July 2009) in Amman
before the United Nations Fact Finding Commission on the Gaza Conflict.

The AIC was invited to testify before this important body following
intensive work in gathering and publishing primary information and
analyses during Israel’s recent military attacks on the Gaza Strip. In
addition to today’s personal testimony, the AIC submitted two documents
to the UN Fact Finding Commission: a collection of AIC original articles
focusing on the political, social and legal developments in East
Jerusalem, the West Bank, Israel and the Gaza Strip during the Israeli
attacks on the latter, with an emphasis on Israeli oppression of popular
protests against the military attacks, particularly by Palestinian
citizens and residents of Israel; restrictions on reporting from and
about the Gaza Strip; and reviews of the economic, social and legal
aspects of the attacks.

The AIC further submitted an advance copy of its economic research
entitled “Operation Cast Lead: Israel Attacks the Gaza Strip”. This
research, which will be available in August 2009, provides a general
overview of the events of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, with an
emphasis on the socio-political context and the events that preceded it.
It explores various economic aspects of the attack, and concludes with
possible effects that this will have on the Israeli occupation of the
Palestinian territories.

“Israeli public opinion was shockingly tolerant of Israeli war crimes
and the violation of basic rights during this time, even against those
in Israel,” remarks AIC Policy Director Nassar Ibrahim. “This is
primarily because the international community failed to set clear
boundaries during Israel’s recent military attacks on the Gaza Strip.”

Israel refuses to cooperate with this UN Fact Finding Mission,
established in April 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council and is not
permitting access to areas under its control, thus rendering
implementation of the Mission’s already challenging mandate that much
more difficult. Mission members are accordingly unable to gain
first-hand evidence and impressions of rights issues related to Israel’s
attacks on Gaza.

Israeli damage to property and human lives in the Gaza Strip did not
end with “Operation Cast Lead” and continues to this day through the
ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.