Human Rights Now released joint statement on Gaza

Human Rights Now (HRN), together with 11 civil society groups, published a joint statement on Gaza which was sent to the Israeli Ambassador Ruth Kahanoff.
Please note that the Japanese version was released on the 18th July.

To Ambassador [PDF]

To Ambassador
Ruth Kahanoff
11 July 2014

We strongly request immediate cease of indiscriminate attacks on the Gaza district and for protection of the civilians according to the international humanitarian law.

We, the below signed NGOs based in Japan, are strongly concerned about the continued increase of civilian casualties due to the military attacks on Gaza, initiated by the Israeli army on July 8th.

Triggered by the killing of three kidnapped Israeli settlers and the killing of a Palestinian teen after having been tortured, the Gaza Strip has been intensively bombarded by Israeli AFs. According to a local human rights NGO, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 209 civilian residences have been destroyed, and 137 civilians, including at least 34 children and 28 women, have been killed as of July 14th. In addition, 1,058 others have been wounded, with the majority being civilians, including 332 children and 212 women.

We, NGOs based in Japan, strongly condemn the series of violence and indiscriminate assaults inflicted by both Israelis and Palestinians. Particularly, we urge the Israeli government to immediately stop military strikes on the Gaza strip, such as the bombing of high population density areas which harms innocent civilians. It is a war crime to attack civilian residences and cannot be accepted under any circumstance. We urge Israeli government to protect civilians in the Gaza strip under the international human rights and humanitarian laws.

Over the years, we have urgently called for ceasefires to both Israel and Palestine and for all sides to protect civilians from harm. However, these ceasefires have only been temporary and we have had to help innocent people rebuild Gaza over and over again. Moreover, there has been little justice achieved after serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both sides in the past conflict.

Despite the fact that a tremendous number of Palestinian civilians fell victim to the air raids and invasion between December 2008 and January 2009, Israel has not been brought to account for the human rights violations, and thus, the livelihood of the people of Gaza has been under threat. At the same time, lives of Israeli civilians have been threatened by repetitive return fire from the Gaza Strip.

Once again, we expect an immediate halt of military attacks that victimize civilians and for the protection of civilians. And we insist that humanitarian relief organizations and humanitarian aid goods, including medical and food supply, are permitted to enter Gaza without delay.

Human Rights Now, Japan
Ayus: Network of Buddhists Volunteers on International Cooperation
Amnesty International Japan
Campaign for the Children of Palestine
Peace Boat
Save The Olives
Japanese Committee for the Children of Palestine
Palestine Forum
Alter Trade Japan
APLA (Alternative People’s Linkage in Asia)
Japan International Volunteer Center