GAZA: Strong condemnation of the ruthless attack by Israeli Defense Forces on the humanitarian flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip 

Rasika Sanjeewa Weerawickrama

A Most ruthless attack by the Defense Forces of Israel

It has been established that the flotilla loaded with humanitarian aid and volunteer humanitarian workers heading towards the Gaza Strip was surrounded by commandos from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDS) and attacked. Initial reports state that nine humanitarian workers were killed. The shipload was intended for the destitute people of the Gaza Strip who have been blockaded by the Israel authorities. Around 600 humanitarian workers were initially detained of which since today many are being deported and released. The incident happened in international waters.

We strongly condemn this attack and we are deeply concerned about the continuing humanitarian issues related to the suffering of the people of the Gaza Strip, which has continued for more than half a century in complete violation of public international law and customary international law as well as the laws of sea. We urge the Security Council of the United Nations, all the member states of the UN and concerned people around the world to raise their voices against this most ruthless attack by the Israeli Defense Forces and urge them to secure justice for these illegal actions.

We consider the tragic actions of the IDF to be premeditated and intentional violations of international law. It was well known to the international community that the flotilla was intended to assist the people of Gaza and the matter was covered by leading international media. Furthermore, it was clearly reported that all the persons on the ship and the shipload itself was intended to go to Gaza were searched prior to departure by the Turkish authorizes. So there are credible reasons to believe that there were no existing security threats to any nation or to international peace and security.

The deprivation of the basic human rights of the people of the Gaza Strip

We strongly condemn the continued suppression and attacks on humanitarian assistance aimed for the people of Gaza by the Israeli authorizes. The people of Gaza have been deprived of all their internationally accepted rights for many decades by the Israeli authorities. Furthermore, they have continually suffered from restricted access to water, food, their right to livelihood, shelter transportation, health and education for many years.

Continuous response of successive governments of Israel on UN resolutions

In the light all the internationally accepted human rights norms and standards the Israeli authorities have engaged in continuous violations of the rights of the people of Palestine for many decades. The Security Council, General Assembly and various other agencies of United Nations Organization have passed several resolutions in relation to many incidents that have happened in Palestine. In response to the United Nations and the international community, the Israeli authorities have shown their willingness to abandon respect for the rights of the people of Palestine. Israel’s negligible approach towards these resolutions has shown the minimal Israeli respect for international peace and security. The unwillingness of successive Israeli governments to adhere to the resolutions of different UN agencies has proved to be an emerging threat to the maintenance of peace and security in the whole Middle East region. Israeli authorities have shown an unwilling and unable attitude to bring the perpetrators of these gross human rights violations to justice and their reluctance to restore justice to the people of Gaza and the Palestinian territories.

Independent, Impartial and efficient investigations into the incident

There must be a global call for holding a comprehensive investigation into the incident under the international laws of the sea in order to bring the perpetrators of these human rights violations to justice.
The attack on the vessel and its crew in international waters should be considered an act of piracy under international criminal law and international customary law.

Responsibility of the United Nation and Security Council under the UN Charter

The members of the Security Council must recall Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations and create concrete resolutions to establish a comprehensive investigation into this incident. Furthermore the members of Security Council and the member states of United Nations Organizations must invoke the measures stated in Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The civilized nations of the world should impose trade embargos on Israel and stop all diplomatic relationships, trade, naval and all means of transportation, postal and other means to the country unless and until they respect the resolutions of the United Nations and internationally accepted human rights norms and standards.

Finally Israel must respect for the rights of the victims of the alleged incidents and their claims to justice and compensation for the violations that they suffered. It is an undeniable responsibility of the Israeli government to pay compensation to the victims of the incidents

Document Type : Article
Document ID : AHRC-ART-055-2010
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