21 July 2014

Bureau of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Strongly Condemns Ongoing Israeli Military Operation in Gaza

21 July 2014
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Bureau of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian

People strongly condemns ongoing Israeli military operation in gaza

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement today:

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People strongly condemns the ongoing Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease all military operations in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  These operations have caused high civilian casualties, with a death toll now exceeding 500 Palestinians with more than 3,000 injured.  There has been massive destruction of civilian homes and properties.  Over 100,000 Palestinians are now displaced, of which more than 80,000 are sheltering at United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities.

The Bureau also condemns, in the strongest possible terms, Sunday’s assault on the Shuja’iyya area in Gaza, where over 70 Palestinians, including many women and children have been killed.  The majority of these casualties are civilians.  An international investigation should be considered by the Human Rights Council to determine accountability for this heinous act.

The Bureau strongly supports the initiative of President Mahmoud Abbas and other international and regional leaders for an immediate ceasefire.  The Bureau especially appreciates the initiative of the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to travel to the region to seek a solution to the crisis, and offers him and his Special Representative, Robert Serry, its full support for their efforts.

The Bureau stresses that the root causes of the conflict must be addressed to ensure there is no return to violence and that sustainable solutions are found to all aspects of this crisis.  The Bureau reiterates its calls, in this regard, for an end to the crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip and respect, by all sides, of international humanitarian law, particularly for ensuring the protection of civilians.

Israeli actions are in clear violation of its obligations as the occupying Power, under the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to protect the civilian population under its occupation.  The Bureau welcomes the request by the State of Palestine to the Government of Switzerland to convene a Conference of High Contracting Parties of the Convention as a necessary effort to address the continuing violations of its provisions by Israel and calls on the Government of Switzerland to convene this meeting as soon as possible.  Moreover, the Bureau of the Committee encourages the urgent signature of the Rome Statute by the State of Palestine, which would allow it to join the International Criminal Court to pursue justice and accountability, including for the killing and wounding of all innocent civilians.

The Bureau of the Committee welcomes the convening of the Security Council’s emergency meeting on Sunday, 20 July, to consider the on-going crisis, takes note of the remarks to the press by the Security Council President following that meeting, and urges additional concrete action by the Council to stop the senseless violence and the further escalation of this dangerous crisis.

The Bureau also stresses the urgency of addressing the worsening humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli military operations and deterioration of the situation, including shortages of food, medicines, fuel and other essential humanitarian supplies.  The Bureau calls on the international community to provide urgent assistance to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population, including through contributions to the emergency appeal by UNRWA, which is providing emergency assistance and shelter to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.

Ultimately, the Bureau recognizes that a negotiated, just, peaceful and political solution, based on relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, is the only possible way to put an end to this decades-long conflict.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.