Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Posts tagged “War Crimes

Hemaya: Gaza Inquiry appointments raise questions

PRESS RELEASE
Hemaya Center for Human Rights

hemaya logo (400 x 107)

Hemaya Center for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the events leading to the resignation of Professor William Schabas as Chair of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, and his replacement by Ms Mary McGowan Davis.

We consider that best practice requires that potential conflicts of interest are explored PRIOR to appointment to such inquiries, and we are most concerned that this appears not to have been the case in regard to Professor Schabas. We remain concerned that it has also not been the case re Ms McGowan Davis, given her hasty appointment. (more…)


In the name of humanity, stop the Israeli slaughter of innocents in Gaza

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 04, 2014

Medics remove a child from the rubble after the Israeli airstrike in Shaati camp today

Medics remove a child from the rubble after the Israeli airstrike in Shaati camp today

The Ministry of Health Gaza condemns in the strongest possible terms the Israeli breaking of the humanitarian ceasefire in a murderous attack on the Al-Bakri family home in Al-Shaati refugee camp in west Gaza City, killing an eight-year-old child and injuring 30 other people, mostly women and children.

This attack on a home in one of the most densely populated residential areas on earth only minutes after the commencement of a humanitarian ceasefire can only be seen as a calculated and deliberate attack on civilians. (more…)


Israeli attack on crowded market during ceasefire is ‘barbarity personified’ says MOH Gaza

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
July 30, 2014

sshujjeiyah (400 x 210)

Israeli attack on crowded market during ceasefire is ‘barbarity personified’

Ministry of Health Gaza is outraged at the Israeli massacre perpetrated during the so-called humanitarian ceasefire, when F-16s fired missiles into the crowded Shujeiyah market as hundreds took advantage of the lull to buy food and supplies.

At least 17 people have been killed and 200 injured.

“This atrocity is barbarity personified,” said Director General, Ministry of Health Dr Medhat Abbas.

Not satisfied with exterminating entire families in their own homes, not satisfied with killing people praying in mosques, not satisfied with killing patients, staff and visitors in hospitals, not satisfied with killing ambulance drivers as they retrieve the dead and injured, not satisfied with killing women and children sheltering in UNRWA schools, the Israeli death machine now blatantly attacks a crowded public market DURING a humanitarian ceasefire, in an unrivalled cruel and cynical exercise of savagery and barbarism. (more…)


MOH Gaza Press Release: Al-Shati Park massacre

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
July 29, 2014

Victims of the Al-Shati Park massacre (AFP/Mahmoud Hams)

Victims of the Al-Shati Park massacre (AFP/Mahmoud Hams)

Eid al fitr. The end of Ramadan, the end of the fast. New clothes, lots of sweets, family visits. Celebrations of life and love.

Not in Gaza.

Instead, Israelis delivered a hefty dose of death and destruction in al-Shati Camp, splitting families and bodies alike.

Two adults and eight children killed as they rode the Ferris wheel or in a TukTuk in the park, over 40 injured, one of whom has since died.

This barbaric and deliberate attack on children in a public place on one of the two most significant Muslim holy days seals the Israeli reputation as one of the most perverse war criminals imaginable.

Many considered the calculated murder of the four children playing football on the beach on July 16, 2014 to be an atrocity and a clear war crime – nine more dead children in al-Shati’s park is an even more gross excess. (more…)


Ten children killed, 40 injured in Israeli strike on a park

At least ten ambulances and several carloads of dead and injured children poured into Shifa Hospital thisafternoon after an Israeli strike on a park in Shaati Refugee Camp in Gaza City. There are ten confirmed dead at this time, and 40 injured. The death toll is expected to rise.

This barbaric and deliberate attack on children in a public park on one of the two main Muslim religious holidays seals the Israeli reputation as the most perverse war criminal of all time.

One bomb struck a children’s ferris wheel, and the other a TukTuk taking children on rides.

Many considered the calculated murder of the four children playing football on the beach to be an atrocity and a clear war crime – but the international community remained passive.

Another ten innocent children have now lost their lives, playing in the park.

How many more will it take before the world says “Enough!”

How many more before the UN enforces international law without fear or favour, and demands the rogue state of Israel comply with international law?

When will the UN impose sanctions, and an arms embargo, to prevent the Israeli enabler the United States from furnishing it with the tools of destruction? From financing the pathological Zionist expansionist project?

When will the UN expel this rogue state from amongst its ranks – this rogue state that claims all the benefits of UN membership but scorns each and every resposibility incumbent upon it to behave with even the barest modicum of civilised bahaviour or humanity?

To remain silent now is to be complicit in these war crimes.


Joint Declaration by International Law Experts on Israel’s Gaza Offensive

The International Community Must End Israel’s Collective Punishment of the Civilian Population in the Gaza Strip

girl

As international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal experts and individuals who firmly believe in the rule of law and in the necessity for its respect in times of peace and more so in times of war, we feel the intellectual and moral duty to denounce the grave violations, mystification and disrespect of the most basic principles of the laws of armed conflict and of the fundamental human rights of the entire Palestinian population committed during the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. (more…)


Medical facilities, personnel a red line, says Gaza MOH

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

Two Palestinian girls run past a damaged ambulance in Gaza

Medical Facilities and personnel are a red line

The Ministry of Health Gaza strongly condemns two Israeli attacks on Gazan medical facilities and personnel in the last 24 hours.

The first resulted in the destruction of Al Durrah Children’s Hospital in Gaza City last night. A two year-old child in the Intensive Care Unit was killed, and 30 others injured.

The second was an attack this afternoon on an ambulance with two paramedics inside in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza. One was killed, and the other critically injured. (more…)


MOH Gaza Press Release: International human shields to protect Shifa Hospital

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

Al Aqsa Hospital after Israeli attacks

Al Aqsa Hospital after Israeli attacks

Individuals from Spain, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia and Venezuela today began a constant protective presence at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in response to increasing attacks on medical facilities and personnel by the Israeli military.

One of Gaza’s hospitals has been totally destroyed, a paediatric hospital so severely damaged it is unusable, and another six have been severely damaged. Four health professionals have been killed and 14 injured. Two medical clinics and 14 ambulances have been completely destroyed, and seven other clinics have been damaged. (more…)


MOH Press Release: Another massacre, this time in Khan Younis

Ministry of Health Gaza
July 23, 2014

People fleeing by whatever means they can

People fleeing by whatever means they can

Another massacre is underway in Khan Younis, where relentless Israeli shelling and sniper fire are wreaking death and destruction on all that moves in the zone east of Khan Younis city.

The villages of Khuza’a, Al Fukhari, Abasan Alkabir, Abasan Al Sa’ir, Jarara, and Bani Suhela received no warning of the attacks, and no warnings to evacuate before the bombardment began at around 11pm last night.

The intensity of Israeli shelling around the Algerian Hospital in Abasan Alkabir shattered its windows, and led to its evacuation, leaving only the emergency department operational.

Despite residents’ frantic calls to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for help in finding a safe route and safe vehicles to escape, the ICRC was unable to get a response from Israeli authorities until dawn today, when five bodies and 17 injured were retrieved and taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

An unknown number of dead and injured remain behind, as ambulances are prevented access. Read more HERE


Gaza: Statement by Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geneva, 23 July 2014

Human Rights Council 21st Special Session:
Human Rights Situation in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Boy trapped in rubble, Gaza

Boy trapped in rubble, Gaza

Mr. President,

Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council,

Excellencies,

The situation in the occupied Gaza Strip is critical for the civilians living there and requires your urgent attention. Since Israel announced its military operation “Protective Edge” on 7 July, Gaza has been subjected to daily intensive bombardment from the air, land and sea, employing well over 2,100 air strikes alone. The hostilities have resulted in the deaths of more than 600 Palestinians, including at least 147 children and 74 women.

This is the third serious escalation of hostilities in my six years as High Commissioner. As we saw during the two previous crises in 2009 and 2012, it is innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, including children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities, who are suffering the most. Read more HERE


PRESS RELEASE
Ministry of Health Gaza

child

The Ministry of Health in Gaza is disappointed that US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to give a paltry USD $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza, while at the same time providing over 3 billion a year to Israel for the very weapons being used to create the crisis.

The brutal Israeli military assaults of the past two weeks, largely funded or equipped by the United States, have now killed 605 Palestinians and injured 3,805, over 76 percent of them in their homes.

Six hospitals and seven health clinics have been attacked, some multiple times, completely destroying one clinic and forcing the complete evacuation of two hospitals. The Blood Bank, ambulance stations and ambulance services have also been targeted, and 12 ambulances have been destroyed since July 6. (more…)


Gaza: The heart of darkness

by Julie Webb-Pullman

child

The horror, the horror.

Inescapable, enveloping infinite horror.

Arriving at Shifa hospital on Saturday I had to stand aside as a car drove through and stopped. A man approached it with the bright white body of a freshly-swaddled child, ready for burial.

I walked behind the car, straight into a group of men carrying a stretcher with what appeared to be a covered body. As they hurried past a bloodied limb fell onto the ground in front of me.

Young men sat against the building, their heads on their knees, sobbing.

This is Gaza.

On Sunday morning it was not just one car, but seven or eight lined up, waiting for their grisly cargo of crushed or blasted bodies and grief.

So many children, so many women, so many grandmothers and grandfathers chopped, minced, sliced, diced by the Israeli butchers and their US enablers.

So many homes reduced to rubble, not by some natural disaster but by the very unnatural, incredibly perverse and completely depraved man-made disaster called the state of Israel. (more…)


UN Special Rapporteur: Israel must deliver on cease-fire agreement in the Gaza Strip

PRESS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN RIGHTS

CAIRO (5 December 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel to abide by and fully implement the cease fire agreement that ended the recent crisis with Gaza.

The human rights expert has just concluded a week-long mission to the region, with the initial purpose assessing the overall impact of Israel’s prolonged occupation and blockade against the Gaza Strip, which is an integral part of Palestine. “However,” he explained, “there arose an urgent need to investigate Israel’s seemingly deliberate attacks against civilian targets during recent hostilities.”

“We visited the sites of attacks and spoke with surviving family members. It is clear that some attacks killed and harmed civilians in a grossly disproportionate manner and thus appear to violate international law,” Mr. Falk said. “There is a widespread feeling among Palestinians that Israel is above the law, and that it is likely to continue to have the benefits of impunity even when it flagrantly and repeatedly violates international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

“Experience has shown that Israel fails to meet its international obligation to promptly and impartially investigate its own actions,” he noted. “Experience has also shown that Israel is not likely to carry out its obligations under the cease fire agreement; indeed during our visit we heard Israeli warplanes flying directly overhead and received reports of Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip.”

The Special Rapporteur called for sustained pressure from the international community, including both Governments and civil society, to secure Israel’s full implementation of the cease fire agreement, noting that without such pressure it is extremely unlikely to hold. “Worldwide support for the recent General Assembly resolution that made Palestine a non-Member observer State should serve as a starting point for more concerted international protection of Palestinian rights,” he said.

Mr. Falk stressed that talks to clarify how certain aspects of the cease fire agreement will be implemented, in particular with regard to access to maritime and agricultural resources, must be swiftly concluded.

“Every day Palestinian fishermen and farmers risk being shot at or detained by Israeli forces. Already since the agreement was reached, Israel has detained 13 fishermen, confiscated 4 fishing boats and sank another fishing boat,” he said. “Such actions signal an Israeli intention to maintain its coercive style of occupation rather to explore whether implementing the ceasefire agreement might lead toward a more hopeful future.”

“Palestinians and the international community are confronted with huge challenges to address underlying problems that have been severely aggravated by Israel’s occupation and blockade,” the independent expert said, underscoring the urgent need for access to clean water and sanitation, productive agricultural land, and new infrastructure.

“We received extensive briefs on what could be done if sufficient resources and political will are made available,” he said. “One example is the construction of a desalinization plant to meet urgent water and agricultural needs, but in many such cases funding is not forthcoming as donors are reluctant to invest in infrastructure projects that Israel is likely to bomb in one of its periodic large-scale attacks against Gaza.”

According to the Special Rapporteur, “unless these underlying problems are addressed soon, it appears that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, as predicted by a recent UN report. Some of the experts with whom we spoke actually believe that 2016 is a more reasonable assessment. This indicates the gravity of the human rights crisis in the Gaza Strip.”

During his visit to Cairo and the Gaza Strip, Mr. Falk met with governmental, inter-governmental and civil society representatives, as well as victims and witnesses. He received briefings from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and other UN agencies, which provided an in-depth picture of the magnitude of the challenges in Gaza and the difficulties of addressing such challenges in a situation of occupation and blockade. He expressed his special appreciation to the people of Gaza and the international civil servants with whom he spoke for their support and engagement.

Mr. Falk’s next report to the Human Rights Council, which he intends to present in June 2013, will fully address the many concerns that were raised during the mission.

ENDS

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

UN Human Rights – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx
UN Human Rights – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Kevin Turner (+41 79 201 0122 / kturner@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)


Gaza hospitals and health workers victims of crimes against humanity

21 November 2012

Israeli war crimes now extend from civilians and journalists to the health sector.

At least three Gaza hospitals have been targeted in Israeli attacks, resulting in the Jordan Field Hospital in Gaza City being damaged beyond repair and rendered completely unusable, the Emergency Department of the European Gazan Hospital in Khan Younis being severely damaged, and the Beit Hanoun Hospital suffering damage to stairways and wards from two shells fired from tanks.

In addition, the Hijazi Clinic in Northern Gaza sustained damage.

Health workers have also been victims of the Israeli attacks – Hussam Abdijawad, an administration worker in Al Rimal Clinic was killed by a rocket while walking home from work. Dr Fadel Juda, the Medical Director of Al Awda Hospital who was walking with him, was injured.

A pharmacist and another four medical staff were also injured while performing their duties, including ambulance worker Wael Awda, Ziyad Almasri, Ramadan Al Housu, and Osama Al Hessi.

The targeting of hospitals, clinics, and medical workers are blatant war crimes, and must not go unpunished.


Israel’s sour-grape-fuelled drunken rampage

As the criminal Israeli attacks continue in Gaza, its targets reveal not only Israel’s cowardice and petty vindictiveness, but also their abject depravity.

Shelling grieving friends and family at a civilian wake must surely go down as one of the most evil acts in recent memory – if such was possible after the Samouni family massacre during Operation Cast Lead. Killing unarmed civilians at a funeral – really tough, guys.

Add schools – another civilian target. Perhaps they are afraid that the pen actually IS mightier than the sword…or are they just teaching those UNRWA upstarts a lesson for daring to criticise the unholy occupation last week?

Farms – business as usual. Gazans grow crops and livestock to feed their population, and favour buying local produce rather than eating Israeli dirt – gotta put a stop to that, and guarantee the Israeli captive market.

Factories – ditto. Can’t have a local economy developing.

And what sort of factories are coming under attack? Why, cement factories of course. Now let’s see them build those Qatari-funded buildings…build those Qatari-funded roads.

And that is what the sour grapes have been fermenting away in their craven craw over, intoxicating their already-feebled brains until their “liver swells with bile difficult to repress” and erupts into another all-out debauched assault on Gaza. How DARE Qatar break the Israeli siege! Just who do the big Q think they are?!

The big Q for the rest of the world is whether it will stand by yet again, and watch another few hundred, several thousand war crimes and crimes against humanity be committed by the biggest rogue state in the hemisphere.

Will Barack “Nobel Peace Prize” Obama finally do something to earn it, and rein in Bibi and his punch-drunk cowboys riding rough-shod on their election trail?

Will Britain have the moral backbone to acknowledge that Palestine, like Australia, was not terra nullius as the Balfour Declaration would have us believe, apologise, and ensure its return to its rightful owners?

Will the United Nations have the strength of purpose to enforce its myriad Security Council Resolutions against Israel – as it does by applying economic, diplomatic, military and financial sanctions against other countries to force their co-operation with international law, or to contain a threat to peace?

Will the international community have the guts to stand up to the Zionist pretenders, and end its abject hypocrisy by turning its attention to the only country in the Middle east that DOES have a nuclear arsenal, and place at least the same, if not even more stringent, sanctions against Israel than it already has against Iran, for merely having the potential to do what Israel has already done without the slightest international censure?

Will the Arab countries stand by Gaza this time?

Unless the answer to all of the above is yes, the Arab Spring will be followed by a very bitter Palestinian winter – and they will all pay the price.