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STATEMENT BY BUREAU OF COMMITTEE ON EXERCISE OF INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ON SITUATION IN GAZA STRIP
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the excessive and disproportionate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and calls for its immediate and unconditional cessation. According to the latest reports, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, of whom at least 73 are civilians, including 24 children and 16 women, while some 700 have been injured.
While condemning the indiscriminate rocket fire emanating from Gaza targeted at Israeli cities and civilian infrastructure, the Bureau contends that such attacks do not justify the disproportionate use of force and the collective punishment of 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, including yesterday’s killing of an entire family of eight. Some 340 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged by over 1,000 Israeli air strikes, displacing at least 2,000 people and further destroying critical civilian infrastructure including wastewater treatment facilities and water distribution networks.
Israeli actions are in clear violation of its obligations as the occupying Power under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to protect the civilian population under its occupation. The Bureau welcomes the request by the State of Palestine to the Government of Switzerland to convene a Conference of High Contracting Parties of the Convention to deal with the continuing violations of its provisions by Israel. It is the responsibility of High Contracting Parties, under Article I of the Convention to “…undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances”. Moreover, the Bureau of the Committee will fully support the State of Palestine if it decides to sign the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court, in order to establish full accountability for the killing and wounding of all innocent civilians.
The Bureau of the Committee welcomes the convening of the Security Council’s emergency meeting on 10 July to discuss the ongoing crisis, and appreciated the briefing by the Secretary-General. It supports his call for restoring calm now and providing a political horizon for the future. The Bureau also welcomes the active support of Jordan, as the Arab member of the Council, to press for urgent action. It is incumbent upon the Security Council to exercise its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter to defuse the crisis and save lives, and calls on the Security Council to take urgent action. The ongoing support of the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement for the Palestinian people is also appreciated at this critical stage.