Statement by the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide on the situation in Israel and in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of Gaza Strip (July 2014)

Dieng and Welsh stated that the high number of civilian casualties, particularly among the Palestinians, could demonstrate disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces. At the same time, the launching of rocket attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups into Israeli residential areas constitutes indiscriminate use of force. In this context, “both parties are in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and these acts could constitute atrocity crimes”, the two Special Advisers observed.
The Special Advisers urge all parties to adhere to the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives. They also call upon the Israeli Defence Forces to fully respect the principle of proportionality…

Israel, as the Occupying Power, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, have the responsibility to protect the population in Gaza. The Special Advisers call on the three parties to take immediate measures to ensure the protection of the population.

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