|Intervention at the Human Rights Council's follow-up session to Resolutions S-12/1 & S-9/1|
|Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:00|
Mr. President, Member States
Over 15 months have now passed since Israeli forces ended their 23 day offensive on the Gaza Strip. In that time investigations conducted by numerous independent organisations, including the UN Fact Finding Mission, have found sufficient evidence to indicate that Israeli forces systematically violated international law.
Over six months has passed since this Committee demanded effective investigations into these events.
Nothing has happened. Only 3 low-level Israeli soldiers have been indicted, or scape-goated. Inadequate investigations have been proffered as an alternative to justice.
In the language of the International Criminal Court, Israel has proved itself unwilling to conduct genuine investigations. As such, and as confirmed by the Permanent Court of International Justice, the State of Israel is internationally accountable.
I would also like to remind this Committee that investigations which persist for a long period of time or are deemed generally inadequate serve but one purpose: the promotion and maintenance of a culture of impunity.
This system denies victims’ legitimate rights to the equal protection of the law, and an effective judicial remedy. It also undermines respect for the rule of international law, with devastating and far reaching consequences.
This situation cannot be allowed to persist indefinitely. Almost a year and a half has already passed.
I urge you to return international law, and respect for the rule of law, to the forefront of international action, and to end current double-standards. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel demands resort to mechanisms of international justice via a Chapter VII Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court. Concurrently national courts must exercise their obligations with respect to the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Impunity cannot be allowed to persist. The international community must fulfil its responsibilities.