On Wednesday 8 April 2009, Mr.
Issam Younis, the director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, met the Irish Sinn Fein leader Mr.
Gerry Adams at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) premises in Gaza.
The other participants in the meeting were: Dr.
Iyad As-Saraj, director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program; Jaber Wishah deputy director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Mr.
Hamdi Shaqoura, also from PCHR.
The participants briefed the guests on the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation Forces during their latest offensive against the Gaza Strip, and the human and material damage inflicted on civilians and civilian property.
It was made clear that the suffering of the residents of the Gaza Strip is not limited to those killed and injured, or to those whose houses where destroyed.
Rather, the residents of the Gaza Strip are suffering due to the lack of food, medicines and basic services, and especially the power cuts, and lack of drinking water and fuel supplies.
The participants highlighted the catastrophic impact of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and that it constitutes collective punishment against its population and a grave violation of the rules of international law.
The participants stressed the importance of prosecuting Israeli political and military officials who have ordered and/or perpetrated these crimes and ensuring that these crimes do not go unpunished.
The participants also expressed their appreciation, and the appreciation of the Palestinian people, to Mr.
Adams for what he represents in terms of the symbol of struggle for just peace.
They also said that his visit and his concern about the suffering of, and the perpetration of crimes against, civilians reflects the common values of humanity shared with the Palestinian people, which constitutes the starting point for the pursuit of justice.
Adams expressed his appreciation and respect for the Palestinian people and his solidarity with their just cause.
He also talked about how he had been affected through seeing the destruction and hearing victim and eyewitness accounts.
He promised to take these accounts to public opinion, and especially decision-makers, around the world.