The international community must act immediately to rein in Israel and halt its bloody aggression on the people of the Gaza Strip.
Nearly 700 Palestinians, the vast majority of them innocent civilians, have now been killed in the onslaught which has involved the shelling of densely populated civilian areas. Entire families have been wiped out in the often indiscriminate bombardments by warplanes, ground artillery, and naval vessels.
Gruesome footage continues to emerge of unarmed civilians, including a child, being shot by Israeli snipers. Since the offensive started Israel has bombed four hospitals. The latest attack yesterday, on the al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza, resulted in the deaths of four people. Israeli forces have also targeted schools and mosques.
“Mowing the lawn” is how Israeli politicians refer to the periodic onslaughts carried out to blunt the Palestinians’ resistance. However, no amount of euphemising can hide the fact that another full scale war is being waged against the people of Gaza, the latest in a continuing 50 year-old campaign of repression .
While Israel claims to be the victim, the facts and pictures emerging from the besieged territory point indisputable to the contrary. At least 70% of the Palestinian casualties to date have been civilians while of the 31 Israeli fatalities all except two have been soldiers.
IHRC is appalled by the acquiescent silence of the international community, especially the western powers, whose continuing inaction has given Israel the green light to forge ahead with its inhuman onslaught. History shows that mealy-mouthed condemnations will do nothing to deter Israel from believing it can act outside civilised international norms with impunity.
We call on the UN security council to call for an immediate cessation of Israeli hostilities under the threat of political, economic and military sanctions and to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
We also call on the international community to arrange for emergency shelters, food and medical assistance to be delivered to the thousands of victims trapped in Gaza and for Egypt to lift restrictions on Palestinians trying to escape from Gaza.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “We do not expect anything else from war criminals such as Netnayahu but we are shocked that his crimes are being made possible by the silent collusion of the West and leading Muslim nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours.”
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222