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OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
Written statement* submitted by the Society Studies Centre (SSC),
a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
Journalists have also been a target of Israel in Gaza. Israeli aircraft bombed Al-Johara Tower in Gaza City which houses 20 media organizations, on 9 January, even though the building was clearly marked as housing media staff. Four Palestinians journalist were also killed during the war. This is clear violation of human rights and freedom of expression. We are afraid that the move of targeting the journalist is to intimidate them or force them out of the city to prevent the world from seeing the gross violations of human rights.
There are many reports claiming that Israel has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. According to the World Health Organization, Israel has killed 21 Palestinian medical workers and wounded another 30. The Israelis denied ambulance access to the area of Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City or four days. When aid workers were finally allowed in, they found four starving children lying next to their dead mothers; and around them other 40 to 50 dead bodies.
The Society Studies Centre welcome the outcome of the 9th Special Session of the Human Rights Council which held in Jan. 2009 to discuss the impact of war on Gaza. The HRC has been brave enough to condemn the violations of human rights in Gaza. However, we noticed that many of the countries which are famous for their standing for human rights specially when it comes to countries like Sudan, have absented themselves from the voting session. The only country which attended from that block has voted against condemning human rights violations and killing of civilians in Gaza. We want to note that civilians blood is the same all over the worlds and whoever kills civilians on the watch of the whole world should be brought to justice.
The SSC also appreciate the Council’s decision to send a mission to investigate the crimes committed in Gaza. We demand that the report of the committee of investigations be forwarded to the UN Security Council.
We strongly support the effort initiated by the Arab Organization for Human Rights by forming an NGOs coalition for documenting all violations of human rights in Gaza and seek justice for the victims.