Archives for 20 April 2018

20 April 2018 – Update on the Deteriorating Situation in Gaza and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Excellency,

I write to you in follow-up of the letters conveyed to you over the past three weeks regarding the heightened tensions and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Regrettably, absent serious measures of accountability, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with its intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians, alongside all other of its illegal policies and practices propping up this illegal, half-century occupation.

For the fourth week in a row, Palestinian civilians, women, men and children, particularly in Gaza, continue to exercise their fundamental rights of expression, assembly, and association in the context of peaceful protests being held as part of the six-week “Great Return March” against the decades-long Israeli occupation, oppression and dispossession of our people.

Despite the peaceful nature of these protests, and in total disregard of international legal rules and norms, the Israeli occupying forces continue demonstrating the cruelty of their occupation machine, responding to the calls of unarmed civilians for freedom and justice with brutal and lethal force. These actions and the military orders commanding them are being perpetrated in direct violation of international law and in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as pointed out, inter alia, by UN human rights experts. In this regard, in a recent statement, they have stressed that the deaths and injuries since 30 March “appeared to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), The Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990) and the prohibitions in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 against willful killings and the serious injury of the protected population”, and cautioned that “the deadly use of force against demonstrators could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute.” [Read more…]