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Joint Oral Submission by Adalah, Al-Haq, Badil, Habitat International, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling

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2 OCTOBER 2009
REF.: 38.2009E.


Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Mr. President, Member States,

On Behalf of the Palestinian human rights community,

President Obama himself has said; “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”.
Today, Palestinians confined in the Gaza Strip and scattered around the world learn the true meaning of President Obama’s words.

On Tuesday, we asked you, Mr President, Member States whether you will act on the basis of the findings in the report by the Fact Finding Mission. I went before you asking whether you will ignore the injustice that has been brought upon the victims of the violations that occurred during Operation Cast Lead.

It is with great disappointment that we learn of the Palestinian Authority’s deferral of the draft proposal, endorsing all the recommendations in the report by the Fact Finding Mission. The deferral leaves the Palestinian people without any resort to legal remedies, including through the avenue of the Human Rights Council. It is an insult to the victims of Operation Cast Lead.

The injustice that has now been brought upon the Palestinians has been brought upon everyone on this globe. International humanitarian and human rights law does not know of nationality, status, religion and origin. International humanitarian and human rights law applies universally to all human beings.

Mr. President, Member States,

You are still able to adopt the resolution, regardless of the position taken by the Palestinian Authority. The Human Rights Council must stand up for justice and the victims.  Should justice stand or fall by the whims of one Member State then the value of the Human Rights Council is already lost.

The deferral of the draft resolution does not undermine the significant importance and authority of the report by the Fact Finding Mission, nor the findings of the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Impunity must not prevail, regardless of political agenda.

Mr. President, Member States

A political agenda aiming at the pursuit of peace without justice is fundamentally flawed. Past experience affirm the truth of Justice Goldstone’s words: There is no peace without Justice.

-ENDS-