On July 23rd 2014, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) has delivered an oral intervention during the Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, calling for the referral of the situation in the OPTs to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In the intervention, CIHRS condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli air and ground offensive on the civilians of Gaza which has led to the death of over 600 Palestinians and has left over 3000 Palestinians injured. CIHRS also condemned the continuous targeting of Palestinian children who amount to one third of the total of casualties. This is without counting the lasting psychological and emotional effects this war will have on children surviving the offensive. CIHRS also emphasized that Israel’s army has made no efforts to spare civilians’ lives, in contravention with its obligation under international law to only shell military targets.
In addition, CIHRS has condemned to a lesser the ways in which some armed resistance groups have targeted civilians. Nevertheless, CIHRS continue to affirm the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation and to confront – within the framework of respect for the principles of international humanitarian law – the crimes committed by this occupation.
On July 22nd, ahead of the human rights council special session, CIHRS joined a group of 5 international, regional and national organizations have issued an open letter to the member states of the Human Rights Council, calling for the creation of an International Commission of Inquiry to look into the with the mandate to identify and investigate violations of international law committed by all parties during and leading up to Operation Protective Edge, as well as a mandate to put forth concrete recommendations of action to be undertaken by all parties engaged in hostilities and the international community, including third states arties, with a view of holding perpetrators accountable and ensuring victims access to effective remedy.
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