Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal area in Gaza City on 9 October 2023. Photo by Naaman Omar apaimages (Creative Commons)

Israel, State of Palestine

Israel/Occupied Palestinian territories: 11 calls to protect civilians and address root causes of the conflict

As the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly meet to discuss the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly the Gaza Strip, ISHR makes eleven key calls to protect civilians and address root causes of the violence and conflict.

ISHR considers that all situations should be dealt with on their merits through the consistent and principled application of objective criteria that treat respect for human rights and humanitarian law and principles as paramount.

Applying these criteria to the situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly the Gaza Strip, and as the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council meet to discuss the situation, ISHR calls for:

  1. All States to implement their duty to prevent genocide and protect civilian populations from genocide;
  2. An immediate ceasefire, including but not limited to a cessation of all attacks that target or indiscriminately affect civilians and civilian infrastructure;
  3. Unimpeded access to fuel and humanitarian aid to all areas in Gaza, including medical supplies, and the immediate restoration of access to food, water, electricity and other essential needs, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis;
  4. An end to the 16 year-old illegal siege and closure of the Gaza Strip, which constitutes collective punishment;
  5. The immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and all persons deprived of liberty without due process, enabling them to return to their families – including through the assistance of neutral intermediaries such as the ICRC;
  6. The protection of human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers;
  7. Investigation and steps towards accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other grave violations and abuses committed by both State and non-State actors;
  8. Concrete steps to address the root causes of violations and abuses and the ongoing Israeli military aggression, including through reaffirming the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and return, and calling for an end to, and accountability for, Israeli policies and practices of apartheid and settler colonialism;
  9. An immediate cessation by third States of the provision of military equipment and aid that may foreseeably be used in the commission of war crimes or otherwise contrary to international humanitarian law;
  10. Clear and unequivocal calls by third States for respect for human rights and humanitarian law, denunciation of all war crimes and crimes against humanity without discrimination, and cessation of statements that may be interpreted as supporting the use of force contrary to international law; and
  11. Action by the UN Security Council to implement sanctions and other countermeasures until Israel adheres to its obligations under international law.

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