Gaza: New demand for justice over Gaza conflict on two-year 'anniversary'

  • ‘A denial of justice is a recipe for future bloodshed’ - Kate Allen
  • New film shows ‘Day In The Life’ of those affected

Amnesty International is marking the two-year “anniversary” of the end of the 2008-9 Gaza conflict with a “global day of action” on 18 January calling for justice for the victims of the fighting in Gaza and southern Israel.

The global day is the launch of Amnesty’s two-month campaign ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in March, at which the UN is being asked to provide an international justice solution for the victims of the Gaza conflict.

Amnesty is stressing that the UN needs to act to ensure an international justice remedy after a prolonged failure from both the Israeli authorities and Hamas to undertake independent investigations into credible allegations that their forces committed war crimes and other human rights violations during the 2008-9 fighting. In 22 days of conflict between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, hundreds of Palestinian civilians (including about 300 Children's rights) and three Israeli civilians were killed, with many others on both sides injured.

The UK government has previously supported moves to ensure that preliminary UN investigations into the conflict are acted on, and Amnesty supporters are now pressing the Foreign Secretary William Hague to ensure that this happens. The organisation is calling on states at the UN’s Human Rights Council to agree a resolution that will refer the issue to the UN in New York - this could in turn trigger a referral to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

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To coincide with its day of action Amnesty has released a new “Day In The Life”-style film showing the long-term effects of conflict in the region upon people who lost loved ones and suffered terrible traumas, including a shopkeeper from Sderot in southern Israel - and a farmer, market seller and NGO employee in Gaza.

Download and view the film

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“It’s totally unacceptable that two years on from the horror of Gaza’s bloodiest-ever conflict, hundreds of bereaved families are still denied justice.

“For two years we’ve seen the Israeli authorities and Hamas stalling and stonewalling over investigations.

“It can’t be stressed enough that a denial of justice is a recipe for future bloodshed in the region and with tensions once again escalating a lack of accountability over the past is making the future much more dangerous.

“In March we need to see the UN’s Human Rights Council referring the issue to the General Assembly for urgent action. If Israel and Gaza’s bereaved families can’t get justice at home they need to be given the chance to obtain it internationally.”

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