As international legal and human rights organizations, we endorse the below statement issued by the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council and urge UN bodies, states and the international community to act on the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.
One year ago, on July 7, 2014, Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge," a massive assault on the Gaza Strip. For 51 days, Israel bombarded Gaza with more than 6,000 airstrikes. Many of them hit residential buildings. Tawfik Abu Jama, a father of eight, told UN investigators, "I was sitting with my family at the table ready to break the fast. Suddenly we were sucked into the ground. Later that evening, I woke up in the hospital and was told my wife and children had died."
In a highly unusual pretrial chamber ruling on July 16, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges reversed a decision by the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, not to investigate Israel’s assault on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, which left 10 people dead.
Since Jan. 16, when Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine, Israel has forced the resignation of the head of the United Nations inquiry into Operation Protective Edge and called on members of the tribunal to cut funding to the court. “So long as any institution for the prosecution of war crimes exists, the Israeli state knows that under any system of justice it’s their leaders and officials that are going to be facing prosecution for their ongoing and systematic war crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Charlotte Kates, the coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild International Committee.
From the death and destruction in Israel's latest war on Gaza to the dramatic arrival of the national guard on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, there have been plenty of brutal reminders on display of the violence that underpins racist repression.
But amid the headlines, one could easily forget the more sustained and entrenched forms of oppression through which various hierarchies, including race, citizenship, nationality, and class are produced and maintained by both the United States and Israel. Among the most significant of these is mass incarceration.