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Al Mezan Calls for Implementation of Commission of Inquiry’s Recommendations, Calls for States to Exercise Criminal Jurisdiction

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry

18-03-2019 10:40

 

Human Rights Council 40th session

Agenda item 7

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry

 

Al Mezan Calls for Implementation of Commission of Inquiry’s Recommendations, Calls for States to Exercise Criminal Jurisdiction

 

The evidence and analysis of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the oPt speaks for itself; no amount of politicizing can alter the facts or the law surrounding the killing of unarmed protesters.

 

Al Mezan welcomes the report of the Commission, which found that in all but a possible two cases, “the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful”.[1] Al Mezan’s documentation supports the conclusion that “the demonstrations were civilian in nature […] and did not constitute combat or a military campaign”.[2]

 

As the report confirms, the legal framework applicable to policing the protests is that of law enforcement. International human rights law governs this situation, as Al Mezan argued when we sought an urgent injunction on the use of force before Israel’s High Court of Justice.[3] The Court’s failure to intervene has allowed for unlawful use of force to continue, with a total of 192 killed.

 

The Israeli justice system has demonstrated that it is unwilling to provide for genuine investigations and accountability. We support the Commission’s call for “States parties to the Geneva Conventions and/or to the Rome Statute [to] carry out their duty to exercise criminal jurisdiction and arrest persons alleged to have committed, or who ordered to have committed, the international crimes described in the […] report”.[4]

 

Along with the ICC, the Commission’s report is yet a new impartial attempt to ensure accountability and justice, notably in view of the lack of domestic remedies, the gravity of the violations, and the fact that they are ongoing now.

 

Al Mezan calls on Member States to support the accountability resolution, which condemns the intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force in stark violation of the very law this Council is entrusted to enforce.

 


[1] Report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the OPT, 28 Feb. 2019. Available at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIOPT/Pages/Report2018OPT.aspx, Para. 94, which states that the commission found the statement to be accurate in relation to all incident except two possible incidents.

[2] Ibid footnote 1, para. 32

[3] Al Mezan & Adalah, “Israeli Supreme Court fully adopts Israeli army’s position, gives green light to continued use of live fire, snipers against Gaza protesters”, 25 May 2018. Available at: http://mezan.org/en/post/22875

[4] Ibid footnote 1, para. 128

Tags / #IHL #ICC #War crime #NoMoreImpunity