Date: 24 August 2018
Time: 20:30 local time
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee: For the 22nd consecutive Friday,
the Israeli occupation forces continue to commit their crimes against peaceful demonstrators in the return and siege breaking marches.
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the National Commission for the Return and Siege Breaking Marches strongly condemns the continuation of the Israeli occupation forces to target the Palestinians participating in the return and siege breaking marches in Gaza Strip for the 22nd consecutive Friday under the title of (Loyalty to the Medical and Media staff) where the Israeli occupation forces on Friday, 24 August 2018 until 20:00 local time in Palestine, deliberately used excessive and lethal force against demonstrators, which lead to injuring 189 demonstrators with live bullets and tear gas.
It is worth mentioning that during the period between March 30, 2018 and August 23, 2018, the occupation forces have killed 171 civilians, including 27 children, 4 women, 2 journalists, 3 paramedics, and injured 18300 citizens, of whom 3600 were children, 1750 women, 261 journalists, 379 paramedics and medical personnel.
These ongoing crimes along with the crime of the siege, especially in light of the recent Israeli decision to close the Erez crossing in the face of Palestinian passengers and to allow only the passage of humanitarian cases and the staff of international organizations operating in Gaza Strip.
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the National Commission for the Return and Siege Breaking Marches stresses on the peacefulness of the return marches and its activities, it considers the deliberate killing and wounding of the Palestinian demonstrators by the Israeli occupation forces to be a clear denial of the human rights system and international law. The Committee confirms that the method of the Israeli occupation forces to deal with the peaceful Palestinian demonstrators came within the framework of implementing a systematic plan and a political decision of the highest level in the Israeli occupation state, and it affirms that it has dozens of irrefutable evidence on the Israeli occupation forces deliberate killing and injuring demonstrators through the use of lethal force. Despite that no one posed any danger to the lives of Zionist soldiers, the Committee also considers that the repeated crimes of targeting kites flyers provides further evidence of the unwillingness of the Occupation to respect the established international legal principles and in particular the principles of proportionality and discrimination. Therefore, the Legal Committee demands the following:
- The Legal Committee salutes the tens of thousands of participants, who participated in the march on Friday, and expresses its solidarity with the families of the martyrs and the wounded and promise them to work hard to expose Israeli crimes, and it will take all means in order to ensure accountability of Israeli war criminals for their crimes against Palestinian demonstrators.
- The Legal Committee confirms that the Israeli occupation forces deliberate killing of the demonstrators is a war crime in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, and it renews its warning to the Israeli occupation and its military forces against the policy of deliberately targeting civilians and demonstrators
- The Legal Committee condemns the Israeli incitement against peaceful marches and gatherings, in violation of the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed by international conventions. It affirms that all justifications and claims of the occupation to target the civilians participating in the return marches, whether their claim that the human rights laws do not apply on demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, or by making thermal balloons and kites a military objective, or by exercising their right to self-defense, all of which are false and illegal claims, since this right does not prove to the occupation state but to the people who resist the occupier.
- The Legal Committee calls on the Human Rights Council to appoint a new head of the Fact-Finding Commission in the violations of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian civilians, especially the peaceful demonstrators of the return marches, to enable the commission to start its work as soon as possible.
- The Legal Committee calls upon the international community, the United Nations bodies, the Human Rights Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention to carry out their moral and legal responsibilities to protect Palestinian civilians and demonstrators in the popular march “the return march” and hold the occupation leaders accountable for the crimes committed against the participants and peaceful demonstrators.
- The Legal Committee calls upon the Palestinian leadership to refer the crimes of the occupation against the demonstrators and all files to the Permanent International Criminal Court, under article 14 of the Rome Charter, and not only to refer the file of settlements, which would ensure that the Israeli criminals will be held accountable. It also reiterates its call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to make a fair decision to open a criminal investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the Palestinian case.
- The Legal Committee calls upon the President and the Palestinian Government to immediately begin lifting the punitive and illegal measures imposed on Gaza Strip and to take all measures to strengthen the steadfastness of the citizens in Gaza Strip and Jerusalem and the creation of climates to restore national unity on the basis of the rule of law and political partnership.
- The Legal Committee urges the solidarity movements with the Palestinian people and the Palestinians in all gatherings to act on all legal, political, diplomatic, human rights and popular levels to ensure the support of the return marches and the demands of the participants, which will contribute to the boycott, isolation and accountability of the Israeli occupation state and to strengthen the protection of the Palestinians and to support their struggle to lift the siege imposed on Gaza Strip for the twelfth consecutive year, and to end the crimes of colonial settlement and racial discrimination, the Judaization of Jerusalem and implement the right to return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with Resolution 194, in order to end their seventy years of suffering.