Skip to main content

Israel's systematic attacks on civilians to be examined by the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Israel's systematic attacks on civilians to be examined by the Russell Tribunal on Palestine
24-25 September – Brussels – Albert Hall, Brussels
For immediate release
Wednesday September 17th
The Russell Tribunal's extraordinary session on Gaza will examine Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure during 'Operation Protective Edge' in July and August of this year.
Human Rights Watch recently accused Israel of committing war crimes in a report analysing three attacks on schools in Jabalya, Beit Hanoun and Rafah. The attacks killed 45 people, including 17 children.
This is not the first time that a human rights probe has made such claims. United Nations and Amnesty International investigations have also found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to the United Nations, 2,131 Palestinians were killed during Israel's last 50 day offensive. Of those 501 were children with about 70 percent aged under 12 according to UNICEF.
In the same period, the Ministry of Health in Gaza recorded 10,918 people injured including 3,312 children and 2,120 women. According to the United Nations, 244 schools were shelled and one used as a military base. According to Al Mezan human rights organisation at least 10,920 houses were damaged or destroyed of which 2,853 were completely destroyed. Furthermore 161 mosques, eight hospitals – resulting in six being taken out of service - 46 NGO 50 fishing boats, and 244 vehicles were also hit.
John Dugard, Professor of International Law and former UN Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories said:
In its shelling of houses and apartment blocks believed to be occupied by Hamas militants the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) has shown a callous disregard for what it views as collateral damage, but this collateral damage has often taken the form of the killing and injuring of civilians and the destruction of their property. This failure to distinguish between military targets and civilians constitutes a clear war crime.”
Raji Sourani, Director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said: “The civilians have been in the eye of the storm for this entire offensive. Israel has been following the rule of the jungle. This was made possible through the lack of accountability following Cast lead and Pillar of Defence. We need the rule of international law and accountability to end the Israeli occupation which is criminal by its' nature”
Ivan Karakashian, Advocacy Unit Coordinator at DCI-Palestine will be presenting on the use of children as human shields by the Israeli army, including the case of Ahmed Abu Raida, held and used for five days. Ivan said:

"Internal investigations by the Israeli military are neither transparent nor independent, and are certainly not serious. To date, no Israeli official has even contacted Ahmad or his family to obtain information concerning his use as a human shield. In this context, the International Criminal Court and initiatives like the Russell Tribunal on Palestine are vital to push for and deliver justice for Palestinian children."
The Tribunal will hear evidence from experts and witnesses who were on the ground during the attack including British Channel 4 News journalist Paul Mason on the targeting of school shelters, PCHR Director Raji Sourani on the targeting of civilians, surgeons Mads Gilbert and Mohammed Abou-Arab on the attacks on medical facilities and workers, journalist Martin LeJeune on the targeting of industrial zones and factories, and Ashraf Mashharawi on attacks on government energy and waste infrastructure.
Please contact the media team if you would like to interview any of the witnesses or jury members.
The entire event will be live-streamed:

Ewa Jasiewicz 0044 7754 360 030 (English, Polish and spoken Arabic)
Katarzyna Lemanska 0032 489 04 48 22 (French, Spanish and Polish)

Twitter: @RussellTribunal


Popular posts from this blog

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:

For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Brexit Diary: Generous to a Fault

Generous to a Fault

Hapless Theresa May stepped nervously into the June European Council in Brussels. Her own status at such meetings is now qualified by the UK’s notification to withdraw from the European Union, which takes effect in March 2019. She can no longer participate in Council discussions about Brexit and has to leave the room. Before she departed the dinner table last night, however, Mrs May outlined an ‘offer’ on the rights of European Union citizens residing in the UK once that country has left the EU. The full ‘offer’ is due to be submitted in writing on Monday 26 June.

Of course, citizens’ rights are codified in law and guaranteed by treaty, to which the UK has acceded. Accordingly, millions of people have moved around the European Union, with many of them settling in the United Kingdom to live and work. The UK has legal obligations towards them. Continuity in their rights is required, if and when the UK leaves the EU. 

The initial response to Mrs May’s remarks from group…

Nuclear Posture Review: Two letters of protest from Japan

The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation received copies of the following letters, dated 6 February 2018, from the Japan Council against A and H Bombs. The letters, written in response to the publication of the US Nuclear Posture Review, are addressed to President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We ask that as many people and organisations as possible circulate these letters as an act of solidarity with anti-nuclear campaigners in "Japan, the A-bombed country".

* * *

To President Donald Trump United States of America 6 February 2018
Letter of Protest against the US Nuclear Posture Review
We, of the people of Japan, the A-bombed country, strongly protest against your nuclear policy formulated in the newly released ‘Nuclear Posture Review’, which brings the US much closer to the actual use of nuclear weapons by modernizing your nuclear arsenals and developing new nuclear weapons.
Trying to justify that nuclear weapons are necessary for security, the Nuclear Post…