Adalah – Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel * Addameer * Al Dameer Association for Human Rights * Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man * Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights * Arab Association for Human Rights * Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights * Defence for Children International-Palestine Section * Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy * Jerusalem Legal Aid Center * Palestinian Centre for Human Rights * Physicians for Human Rights - Israel * Public Committee Against Torture in Israel * Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies * Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling
On behalf of the Palestinian and Israeli human rights community, we would like to take the opportunity to extend our gratitude and to thank you sincerely for your General Assembly vote supporting Resolution A/RES/64/10 of 5 November 2009 on the Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report).
Since the initiation of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 we have consistently advocated for justice for the victims by calling upon the international community to implement the obligations set forth in international law and to ensure that those responsible for violations of the laws of armed conflict be held to account.
The Goldstone Report provides an authoritative analysis of the conduct of both Palestinian fighters and of the Israeli military forces during the conflict.
Following the Report’s endorsement by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, we shall continue to advocate for the pursuit of accountability for the crimes catalogued therein and to seek the full implementation of the Report’s recommendations.
Accountability and justice lie at the heart of a UN framework meant to promote respect for human rights and the maintenance of international peace and security.
We fully realize that ensuring full respect for, and implementation of, such principles, however fundamental, has yet to be achieved, and that there continues to be significant obstacles placed in the path of those who would pursue accountability.
By voting in favour of the Resolution you have made a critically important contribution to the struggle for justice, accountability, and peace, not just in our region, but globally.
We realize that many states, European and others, were critical both of the Goldstone Report and of the utility or desirability of bringing international law to bear on the parties to the conflict.
While politics and diplomacy surely has its place in searching for a solution to the conflict, and ultimately in bringing an end to the occupation under which we have lived for over four decades, unless international law is respected and enforced we are unlikely to arrive at a just peace in the near future.
For the victims of Operation Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report, and action towards implementing its recommendations, represent a rare but significant opportunity for justice.
Your vote in favour is highly encouraging as we continue to advocate that all parties to all conflicts must abide by international law, and we trust that more European states will have the foresight and wisdom to follow your lead as we jointly move towards the end of an era of impunity.
With our regards,
Adalah – Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel Sahar Francis
Addameer Khalil Abu Shammala
Al Dameer Association for Human Rights Shawan Jabarin
Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man Issam Younis
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights Muhammad Zeidan
Arab Association for Human Rights Ingrid Jaradat Gassner
Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights Rifat Kassis
Defence for Children International-Palestine Section Hawqi Issa
Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy Issam Arouri
Jerusalem Legal Aid Center Raji Sourani
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Ran Yaron
Acting Executive Director
Physicians for Human Rights- Israel Ishai Menuchin
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel Iyad Barghouti
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies Maha Abu Dayieh
Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling