Interactive Dialogue – Item 7
29 June 2015
Dear Mr. President,
As this honorable council meets, Khader Adnan – detainee without charge - is close to death; he is facing injustice alone. We fear inaction will result in a longer list of victims. Last year I lost my father, stepmother and niece to a barrage of Israeli missiles as they slept in their beds. Just one of the hundreds of attacks referred to in the Report of the independent commission of inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Millions of Palestinians suffered death, loss, and trauma due to armed unlawful attacks likely amounting to war crimes. This was the third time in six years. We know better than ever that, as the Report further cites, we can only expect worse things to come if impunity is not swiftly and properly tackled.
However, Palestinians, including in Gaza, have no hope of achieving accountability or accessing legal remedy in Israel. Israel's justice system has been tested enough and indicates a stark unwillingness to serve justice.
Nowhere do we see this clearer than in the case of the four Bakr children killed on the beach while playing in broad daylight; the dozens of attacks on inhabited homes annihilating entire families; or the indiscriminate attacks on residential areas deemed 'sterile' despite the clear sight of fleeing civilians. Nor is it clearer than when civilians are used as human shields or detainees abused and tortured.
After three major assaults on Gaza leading to 2,852 civilian deaths, including 933 children, and vast destruction, it is clear that impunity is endemic. This is the time to act to stop this.
We stand in dire confusion. As Europe and the EU support independent human rights work, they frequently fail to act, or enable this Council to act resolutely. It is time Europe took a position reflecting the core values we all share; those of justice and peace.
The CoI's report echoes the voices from Gaza. The course has been clear, and it is now reiterated. Justice and peace can be achieved together. We call on you to resolutely ensure protection, life, dignity and freedom through justice and accountability.
There are no sides here. Only victims and perpetrators. Those without access to justice domestically have no other option but to seek legal remedy from an international justice mechanism. They look to you to support the ICC’s preliminary examination towards ending impunity and preventing worse violations.
Despite my personal loss, I am still committed to peace and justice. It is the moment for the two to be pursued together. I expect, and we expect the Council to follow.
Thank you Mr. President.