30 SEPTEMBER 2009
On 14 September 2009, the Human Rights Council commenced its twelfth session. Item 7 of this session relates to the “[h]uman rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”. In this regard, the Human Rights Council convened
yesterday, on 29 September 2009, for a presentation by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Gaza and discussion on their report.
Non-governmental organisations with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council were welcomed to submit an oral submission before the Human Rights Council and Al-Haq seized this opportunity. Based on Al-Haq’s submitted written statement to the Human Rights Council on 8 September 2009, Al-Haq yesterday presented their oral submission.
Al-Haq welcomes, in its entirety, the thorough, impartial and fair report by the Fact Finding Mission. All avenues possible for the attainment of justice must be sought and therefore the Human Rights Council is urged to fully implement the recommendations in the report. The only appropriate resolution of the crimes committed during the Israeli offensive, Operation Cast Lead, is to ensure that the perpetrators of the crimes are held accountable. Perpetrators must be held accountable, regardless of their nationality and status within his/her own government or State. The appropriate judicial bodies to bring the perpetrators to justice is either the International Criminal Court or an immediately established international, impartial, credible and transparent Tribunal with complete personal, territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction.
Additionally, Al-Haq helped to organise a side event entitled “After the Report by the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza: What’s Next?” on 29 September, in cooperation and coordination with a joint panel of Israeli, Palestinian and international NGOs for a presentation on the Goldstone report. United in their support of the report and their demand for accountability on all sides, the participating organisations discussed various views on follow-up and mechanisms for justice.
Participants in the event included:
Adalah ● Al-Haq ● Al-Mezan ● Amnesty International ● Badil ● Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies ● Habitat International Coalition ● Human Rights Watch ● International Commission of Jurists ● International Center for Transitional Justice ● International Federation of Human Rights ● Palestinian Centre for Human Rights ● Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
The Human Rights Council plays a significant role in promoting justice and in ensuring respect for international law. Therefore, the Human Rights Council must act, to the full extent of their mandate, ensuring that the report is practically implemented. Moreover, the mandate of the Human Rights Council requests it to act. Al-Haq’s efforts in Geneva have been aimed towards realizing such action.
Please find links below to Al-Haq’s written statement and oral submission.
- Oral Submission “Call for the immediate establishment of an international Tribunal or referral to the ICC for crimes committed during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ – an offensive by Israel against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip”
( http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/archive.asp?go=090929 )