HRA calls on the European Union and the Human Rights Council to take punitive measures to stop the war crimes committed in Gaza
The Arab Association for Human Rights has written to the Ambassador of the European Union in Israel about the situation in Gaza, calling for the EU to play an active role and to take clear steps to stop the attacks and the Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. The letter said, "The picture since the beginning of the bombardment confirms that Israel chose the timing and location of the attacks in order to inflict the largest number of civilian deaths, which is a war crime under international humanitarian law."
Mohammad Zeidan, the HRA's General Director, said in his letter that the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip and the closure of the border crossings are an obstacle to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the transfer of the injured out of the devastated areas. He also said that Palestinian human rights organizations have long warned of the explosion of the situation in Gaza, however the international community and the European Union failed to act to end the deterioration of the situation and stop the aggression. In addition, the political verbal actions and soft statements made on the European stage indicate the failure of the European Union to do its part and fulfil its moral and legal obligations towards the peoples of the region; and in some instances, the opposite of what these agreements stipulate is done, especially in the field of human rights. The letter also brought to mind the decision of the European Council at the beginning of this month to upgrade the European Union's relations with Israel, without any actual review or minimum interest in Israel's record that is rich with human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, noting that this decision was taken while the Israeli Government was preparing for this bombardment and crimes, a matter civil society organizations warned of.
The HRA, in its letter, called on the European Union and all its member states to not be complacent with verbal positions and the provision of humanitarian assistance, but move quickly to make effective use of the European Union Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law to ensure Israel complies with international humanitarian law, including the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel.
In a related development, the Arab Association for Human Rights took part in issuing a joint letter signed by 18 Palestinian human rights organizations from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and inside Israel. The letter was directed to members of the Human Rights Council in the United Nations urging them to move to convene an emergency session of the Council and to take proactive steps to protect the human rights of the Palestinians in general and in particular to stop the war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The HRA is working in coordination with Palestinian human rights organizations in the occupied territories and international human rights networks in order to organize and activate all international activities at the official level, the governmental and popular in order to stop the aggression, war crimes and urge the prosecution of those responsible for these crimes in the military and the government in the relevant international courts.