THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS CONDEMNS ISRAELI AGGRESSION IN THE GAZA STRIP IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS (29 Dec 2008)
Read also: Gaza: ICRC demands urgent access to wounded as Israeli army fails to assist wounded Palestinians (07 Jan 2009)
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) representing lawyers and jurists in over 100 countries and with consultative status with the United Nations, ECOSOC and UNICEF, condemns the current Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza in the strongest possible terms. IADL calls on the international community to stop further Israeli aggression, and take action to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.
The air assault on Gaza has resulted in hundreds of dead and wounded including many civilians. The air attacks have been against many civilian targets including police stations and law enforcement officers. The threatened ground assault is a further act of aggression.
Israeli actions violate the UN Charter, the laws of war, and the Geneva Conventions, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza has been going on for many years and has included a blockade preventing food, medicine and other necessities into Gaza, extrajudicial killings and closing of the borders. Israel has been encouraged in this most recent aggression by the refusal of the international community most notably the United States, to take action after Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon in 2006. This impunity must stop.
IADL calls upon the United Nations, and all peace loving peoples of the world to end this aggression and hold accountable those responsible for acts in violation of international law.
December 29, 2008
Jitendra Sharma, President
Jeanne Mirer, Secretary General
THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS CALLS ON THE UNITED NATIONS TO
TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF GAZA
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) representing lawyers and jurists in over 100 countries and with consultative status with the United Nations, ECOSOC and UNICEF has on December 29, 2008 condemned the Israeli aggression against the people of the Gaza Strip and called for the international community to stop any further aggression, and take action to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes.
It has been a week since the air assault has begun and a ground invasion is threatened. The United Nations has thus far failed to pass a binding resolution to end the hostilities. The United States has shown its complicity in Israel’s aggression by its refusal to endorse an immediate cease fire. The US has thus ensured that the Security Council will not be able pass the necessary resolutions and is intentionally allowing for the continued aggression against the people of Gaza with untold death and destruction.
Israel’s bombing violates the Geneva Conventions in at least the following ways: (1) it constitutes collective punishment of the entire 1.5 million people in Gaza for the acts of a few militants; (2) it targets civilians in one of the most densely populated areas of the world; and (3) it is a disproportionate response as evidenced by the hundreds of Gazans who have been killed; when Israel started bombing Gaza, no one had been killed by the rockets in more than a year. Moreover, Israel’s sealing off of the Gazan border has caused severe shortages of food, medicine and fuel, and made it impossible for doctors and ambulances to reach the injured.
IADL therefore calls upon the General Assembly to act pursuant to Resolution 377 to pass a uniting for peace resolution. IADL further calls on the General Assembly to create a special tribunal under Article 22 of the Charter to investigate and punish Israeli war crimes and those complicit with these crimes. IADL further urges the Human Rights Council to send a high level fact finding mission to Gaza to investigate the extent of the humanitarian crisis which exists in Gaza.
If the above referenced actions are not taken, international law and the credibility of the UN will be greatly damaged.
January 2, 2009
Jitendra Sharma, President
Jeanne Mirer, Secretary General
Gaza: ICRC demands urgent access to wounded as Israeli army fails to assist wounded Palestinians
Geneva/Jerusalem/Tel Aviv (ICRC) - On the afternoon of 7 January, four Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) managed to obtain access for the first time to several houses in the Zaytun neighbourhood of Gaza City that had been affected by Israeli shelling.
The ICRC had requested
safe passage for ambulances to access this neighbourhood since 3 January but it
only received permission to do so from the Israel Defense Forces during the
afternoon of 7 January.
The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses.
In another house, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded. In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses. Israeli soldiers posted at a military position some 80 meters away from this house ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do. There were several other positions of the Israel Defense Forces nearby as well as two tanks.
"This is a shocking incident," said Pierre Wettach, the ICRC's head of delegation for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. "The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."
Large earth walls erected by the Israeli army had made it impossible to bring ambulances into the neighbourhood. Therefore, the children and the wounded had to be taken to the ambulances on a donkey cart. In total, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team evacuated 18 wounded and 12 others who were extremely exhausted. Two corpses were also evacuated. The ICRC/PRCS will recover the remaining corpses on Thursday.
The ICRC was informed that there are more wounded sheltering in other destroyed houses in this neighbourhood. It demands that the Israeli military grant it and PRCS ambulances safe passage and access immediately to search for any other wounded. Until now, the ICRC has still not received confirmation from the Israeli authorities that this will be allowed.
The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.