iaIGO Welcomes UN Report on the 2014 Gaza War

iaIGO Welcomes UN Report on the 2014 Gaza War 24 June 2015

The International Gulf Organization (iaIGO) welcomes the UN report on the 2014 Gaza war which accuses both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of possibly committing war crimes.

 The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry recently published a report detailing the events during the 51-day Israeli military offensive against Palestinians in Gaza on the summer of 2014. The report equally revealed that both sides – Israel military and Palestinian armed groups – may have committed war crimes.

During the conflict, Israel is said to have fired about 50,000 tank and artillery shells carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes against Gazans. This resulted in huge deaths and massive destruction of civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. The hostilities claimed the lives of some 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians. Of this number, 299 were women and 551 children. Also, 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured 10 per cent of who suffered permanent disability as a result. Additionally, some 100,000 residents are still homeless due to the destruction of their homes during the offensive.

On the other hand, Palestinian militants also fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel during the same period resulting in the killing 6 Israeli civilians and injuring at least 1,600 others. In the West Bank area, deadly clashes between Israeli Security Forces and Palestinian civilians equally resulted in the death of 27 Palestinians and causing injury to 3,020 others.

The protection of civilians in both international and non-international conflicts is highly imperative as emphasized in many international humanitarian laws and legal instruments. Article 1(a) of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War strongly prohibits all parties in an armed conflict to inflict any form of “Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.” All the hostilities carried out by both Israelis forces and Palestinians militants is unacceptable and constitutes war crime and crime against humanities under international law in which the perpetrators may face legal action if found guilty.

Israel has ratified this convention and is a state party to the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) for a very long time while the state of Palestine recently joined the ICC. Both of them have failed to act in accord with the claws of the human rights laws and have not respected their obligation in protecting civilians during the 51-day conflict.

iaIGO is therefore calling on the governments of Israel and Palestine to cooperate with the UN in verify the finding of the report and to hold accountable all those responsible for the heinous crimes committed during that summer period. Both governments must recognize their responsibility and commitment in protecting civilians in times of conflict. iaIGO strongly urges both Israel and Palestine to resume peace talks and come up with sustainable and permanent solutions to end the long decades of violence between the two states.