IPHRC calls for immediate end to Israeli aggression against Gaza amidst alarmingly increasing civilian death toll

11/08/2014  In a statement today, the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) condemned in the strongest terms the escalation of the on-going Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in “Gaza strip”, leading to the horrendous crime of over 1948 casualties, majority of whom, including 456 children, were civilians. “We hold Israel, the occupying power, solely responsible for the indiscriminate and criminal use of force leading to gross human rights violations against the civilian population of Gaza strip, including through targeting of civilian residential areas, hospitals and medical personnel as well as UN schools and shelters”, the Commission added. Referring to these acts, the Commission stressed that the indiscriminate targeting of civilians as was done by Israelis, constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity, which couldn’t be justified under any circumstances. It called upon Israel, the occupying power, to put an immediate end to its unlawful and unjust military operations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

IPHRC noted that the use of heavy artillery by air, land and sea has led to the destruction of thousands of civilian homes causing internal displacement of over 450000 Palestinians within the already densely populated Gaza strip hence exacerbating the existing humanitarian crisis in that area, which is already under Israeli siege for the last eight years. The Commission shared international community’s deep concern over the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the lack of access to water, food, sanitation and electricity as well as much needed medical supplies. It emphasized that under international humanitarian law, Israel, as the occupying power, bears the prime responsibility for ensuring the protection of all civilians in Gaza and ensuring that their basic needs are met.

IPHRC called upon the United Nations, OIC Member States and the international community at large to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and services to the Palestinian people in Gaza and called upon the UN Security Council to take concrete and immediate actions to lift Israel’s unjust blockade /siege of Gaza strip so as to allow flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip, in accordance with international humanitarian law.

The Commission also welcomed the outcome resolution adopted by the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, on 23 July 2014, which strongly condemns the ongoing Israeli military action as asystematic and gross violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. It also fully supported the core objectives of the resolution that calls for establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, international protection for the Palestinian people and resumption of the meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. While calling for this resolution’s immediate and full implementation, the Commission reiterated its full support to the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and self-defence in the wake of foreign occupation and urged international community in particular major political powers to do all they can to put an end to the ongoing spiral of death and destruction in Gaza.

Only a just resolution of the Palestinian question, which is well established in various UN resolutions i.e. creation of a sovereign state of Palestine with Al-quds Al-sharif as its Capital can bring peace in the region and would help a two State solution living side by side in peace and security, the Commission added.