Letters and Appeals
5 October 2016
Thank you Mr. President.
Concerning Operation Protective Edge, Al Mezan and Adalah filed complaints on 27 incidents of suspected IHL and human rights violations to the Israeli authorities, demanding that they open independent criminal investigations and prosecute those responsible. Al Mezan also filed an additional 107 complaints concerning suspected war crimes.
The results show that two years after the Operation, Israel has not opened a single investigation into any of Al Mezan’s 107 complaints; and among Adalah and Al Mezan’s complaints, not a single indictment has been issued. The only cases that were processed concern incidents of looting by Israeli military personnel and the abuse of civilians in military detention, which reflects the Israeli leadership's intention to shield the personnel from prosecution for serious wrongdoing - thereby limiting punishment to what qualifies as 'common crimes'.
Concerning civil redress, the residents of Gaza continue to face severe barriers in accessing justice in Israel. The overarching challenge remains the mounting legislative restrictions that shield the government from torts liability for its troops’ actions.
The handling of our complaints has proven what we have long experienced: Israel is unwilling to conduct genuine, independent investigations into suspected war crimes and does not hold those responsible to account, as required by international law. This continues to be the case even after the Israeli military established its Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism. Israel’s law enforcement system and its flawed investigative mechanisms instead appear primarily geared towards protecting its armed forces and allowing impunity to prevail.
We call on the Human Rights Council and members states to:
 See " Defense Minister Ya’alon: No Place for Criminal Probe of Gaza War’s Black Friday'", Haaretz, 8 January 2015, available at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.636074, last accessed on 29 August 2016.
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