Top > Activity > Browse by Country > Palestine (OPT)


Browse by Country : Palestine (OPT)

[Statement] World leaders must end impunity of the recent conflict in Gaza

[Immediate Release]

 22 September 2009

Human Rights Now Calls on world leaders to endorse and implement all recommendations of the Goldstone Mission on the Gaza Conflict


On the 15th of September 2009, the UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone released its 574- page report on the Gaza conflict, in which it concluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict which amount to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity. The Report also concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes.


The Mission was established pursuant to the Human Rights Council Resolution adopted in January 2009, constituted by distinguished international lawyers and experts, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former prosecutor of the ICTY and the ICTR.


In the Report, the Mission recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to report to it, within six months, on investigations and prosecutions which Israel should carry out with regard to the violations identified in the Report. The Mission further recommends that the Security Council set up a body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions. If the expert body's reports indicate within six months that no good faith, independent proceedings have been taking place, the Council should refer the situation in Gaza to the ICC Prosecutor. 


The Mission also recommended that the Human Rights Council endorse the all recommendations contained in the Report, take appropriate action to implement them and continue to review their implementation in future sessions.

The Mission further recommended that the Human Rights Council request the UN Secretary-General to bring the Report to the attention of the United Nations Security Council, as well as submit the Report to the General Assembly and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.


The Mission recommended that the General Assembly request the Security Council to report to it on measures taken with regard to ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law related to the military operations in Gaza. The Mission further suggested that the General Assembly may consider whether additional action within its powers is required in the interests of justice, including under resolution 377 (V) Uniting for Peace.


Human Rights Now(HRN), a Tokyo based international human rights NGO constituted by over 600 lawyers and academics, welcomes this long awaited report and firmly endorses all the recommendations in the Report. HRN requests the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to sincerely implement all recommendations made by the Mission in order to reestablish justice, accountability and human rights. 

Although reportedly over 1400 people have been killed during the conflict, there is no good faith on the internal investigations and prosecutions on the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. International community must not allow impunity on the conflict.


The Mission conducted two field visits to Gaza between May and July 2009, detailed analysis of 36 specific incidents in Gaza, as well as a number of others in the West Bank and Israel. The Mission heard 38 testimonies during two separate public hearings held in Gaza and Geneva, conducted 188 individual interviews, reviewed more 10,000 pages of documentation, and viewed some 1,200 photographs, as well as 30 videos. 

The specific incidents concluded as war crimes by the Mission include direct attack against a mosque at prayer time, shooting of civilians while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags, direct and intentional attack on a hospital and an ambulance depot by using white phosphorous weapons. The findings of the Mission are supported by various testimonies and facts. 

Based upon the findings of the war crimes and the grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention by Israel and Palestinian armed group by the highly qualified mission, the international society must act for justice and accountability by implementing the recommendations made by the Mission. 


The UN Human Rights Council convenes its special session on Gaza on the 29th of September 2009. HRN requests that all member states of the Human Rights Council adopt a resolution to endorse the Report and all recommendations as a first step toward the implementation of the recommendations.

In particular, HRN requests that Canada, which opposed the Council resolution in January 2009, as well as the member states of the European Uinon and Japan, which abstained to the resolution, change their positions and vote for the resolution endorsing the Mission's Report and recommendations.

HRN also requests that the United States, a new member of the Human Rights Council, support the resolution. This will be a good opportunity for the new administration of the United States to clearly show the world its change in foreign policies from the Bush administration. 

There was criticism that the resolution in January was "one sided" and "politicized", however, it is not a legitimate allegation any more since the independent and impartial investigation has been done on both sides by the Mission. 

Despite repeated requests by the Mission, the State of Israel rejected to cooperate with the Mission, and has started attacking the Report. However, the quality of the Report is widely approved by experts and international NGOs. HRN calls on all governments not to discredit the credibility of the Report and undermine the work of the Mission. 

This Report entrusts the UN Security Council and the State of Israel to conduct investigations and prosecutions of the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the recent conflict in Gaza. HRN calls on world leaders, in particular the leaders of all countries which officially embrace and defend "human rights and rule of law", to make all necessary effort to implement Goldstone's recommendations to achieve justice and accountability.