The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) Strongly Condemns Israel’s Ongoing Criminal Aggression against Palestinian Civilians in Gaza

15/07/2014 — The IPHRC has been following with profound shock and sadness the on- going Israeli offensive using rockets and air strikes against the Palestinian residents of Gaza. These military strikes, which according to Israelis are aimed at Hamas militants and 'Palestinian Terror Sites', are being carried out by the Israeli Defence Forces with utter criminal disregard to international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

The whole world is a witness of the fact that Israel’s deliberate attacks on civilian homes in Gaza causes hundreds of people, including children, to lose their lives. These acts certainly constitute serious violations of human rights.

AThe Commission is petrified by the Israeli escalation of its aggression against the residents of Gaza with the increasing loss of innocent lives, including women and children. Over 170 people have been killed whereas more than 1200 people are reported to have been wounded, many of whom are unable to obtain medical treatment because of the barrage of rocket attacks and air raids as well as lack of medical supplies due to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Commission wishes to remind the Israeli authorities of their obligation under international humanitarian law to grant unhindered access to medical treatment for all wounded civilians.

The Commission also wishes to express its outrage over the Israeli Defence Forces' deliberate destruction of a mosque and a disabled people's clinic during this offensive. Nothing can be more contemptuous to Muslims all over the world than an attack on a mosque and the denial of Muslims in Gaza the opportunity to perform their religious injunctions freely, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. Accordingly, the Commission calls on the Israeli authorities to respect the sanctity of places of worship and to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy the right of practicing their faith in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

IPHRC holds the Occupying Power, Israel, solely responsible for this heinous act of cold blooded murder of innocent Palestinian people that has no place in modern world; calls upon the United Nations Security Council to put an end the on-going indiscriminate killings and to take the most appropriate measures to bring to justice those responsible for initiating and conducting this genocidal operation called "Protective Edge".

The Commission supports the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that "every alleged breach of international law must be promptly, independently, thoroughly and effectively investigated with a view to ensuring justice and reparation for the victims". To that end, the Commission aligns itself with the call by the OIC Executive Committee, for the UN Human Rights Council "to hold an emergency special session and to establish an international task force to investigate Israeli crimes and violations of human rights against the Palestinian peoples".

Finally, the Commission wishes to express its support for, and solidarity with, the residents of Gaza and all the Palestinian people in the difficult time they are going through.