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        General Assembly
25 February 2009


Tenth session
Agenda item 7



Written statement* submitted by the Society Studies Centre (SSC),
a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[13 February 2009]

* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

Killing of Children and Civilians in Gaza

The war which was launched by Israel in Gaza in Dec. 2008 and lasted for almost one month was mostly targeted towards civilians including children and women, civilian facilities such as hospitals and UN premises which deliver aid to 1.5 million civilians in Gaza, journalists,.

Israel has used all type of was machinery: air strikes, tanks, marine warships, and others to kill more than 1300 people and injured more than 5400 people more than have of them are children and women, and many others Palestinians including elderly men and civilian men. There in nothing that can justify the killing of this huge number of civilians other than the deliberate intention to kill them. A delegate of 8 American lawyers have visited Gaza and concluded that “While we have found evidence that Palestinian civilians were victims of excessive force and collateral damage, we have also found troubling instances of Palestinian civilians being targets themselves”.

The whole world has seen the Israeli atrocities in Gaza which include the shelling and destruction of civilian facilities. Louay Shabana, head of the Palestinian Authority's Central Bureau of Statistics, said more than 22,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Shabana put the economic destruction at more than $1.9 billion.

During the war Israeli forces have deliberately targeted UN facilities. John Ging, the Director of Gaza Operations for UNRWA reported that Israeli forces fired missiles at UNRWA schools in Gaza City, Jabalyia and Bet Lahiya. 280 families, some 1,674 people, had taken refuge there after Israel “warned” people to leave their homes. The United Nation compound in Gaza city was also hit with white phosphorous shells and missiles. The January 6 attack, which is reported to have killed 46 people and wounded 55, illustrates the need for a wide-ranging independent investigation. The United Nations in Gaza said the school was clearly marked as a UN building and that it had provided GPS coordinates for the site to Israeli forces. In his visit to Gaza, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon promised a full investigation into these violations of humanitarian law. On February 12, 2009, the Secretary General has announced a UN Board of Inquiry into incidents in Gaza. We call upon this board to fully investigate all types of violation specially those targeted at killing in innocent civilians and bring all perpetrators to justice.

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.


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