In 2015, the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, and Medical Aid for Palestinians published a report entitled No More Impunity, detailing cases of Israeli attacks on Gaza’s health sector during its 2014 military campaign codenamed “Operation Protective Edge” (OPE).
International law dictates that where applicable laws appear to have been violated in military attacks, the attacks must be investigated promptly, impartially, and in a credible and effective manner. Moreover, civilians who suffer injury or damage due to unlawful attacks must have access to appropriate reparations.
The UN Commission of Inquiry (COI), established in the wake of OPE, expressed concern about “a number of procedural, structural and substantive shortcomings” in Israel’s military investigation system, and pointed to the urgent need for proper investigations. The World Health Organisation’s 2016 report highlighted that Gaza and the West Bank sustained the second highest number of healthcare attacks among emergency countries in 2014-2015. Israel’s persistent failure to prosecute or properly investigate possible war crimes fosters a culture of impunity, which enables the repetition of its military’s destructive conduct which has caused thousands of Palestinian civilian casualties and widespread destruction and damage of civilian infrastructure.
Al Mezan filed 102 complaints involving 108 incidents of attacks with Israel’s Military Advocate General (MAG). All cases submitted involved evidence indicating that violations of international law had occurred. Two years since the start of OPE, only a handful of criminal investigations are being conducted.
In this briefing, we present updates on the legal status of the cases highlighted in our report, and testimonies detailing how the lack of effective remedies have impacted the lives of victims and survivors two years on from these attacks.