عربي | עברית
After more than three weeks of Israel’s military offensive against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian civilians, including women and children, continue to pay the deadliest price. Israel’s indiscriminate bombings have killed over 1,000 Palestinians, at least 75% of whom are civilians; injured over 6,200; destroyed hundreds of family homes, a facility for disabled people, the water network, and hospitals and medical centers; and displaced over 215,000 Palestinians
Photo by: Ezz Al-Za'anin - Safa images

Since the beginning of the atrocities, Adalah and partner NGOs have sent complaints to the Israeli authorities demanding independent investigations into international law violations that constituted suspected war crimes against Gaza. But as many observers know, Israel rarely, if ever, conducts proper investigations into these issues or prosecutes those responsible for these offenses.
So why do Adalah and other NGOs continue to demand them? Why did the UN Human Rights Council last week order the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into these events? This work for accountability matters because:
  • A lack of accountability fosters a culture of impunity and lawlessness; a culture of justice must be promoted to counter this;
  • Accountability for violations serves as a deterrence against future violations; it pressures perpetrators to abide by international law;
  • Victims are entitled to remedies for violations of their rights; tackling the justice crisis in the OPT fights for these rights. 
These values, including respect for the right to life and dignity, are what drive our work and lead us to continue to demand accountability.
Our commitment to accountability similarly applies to Palestinian citizens inside Israel. This month, a wave of demonstrations look place in Palestinian towns and villages in Israel, and in mixed cities, in protest of Israel’s military attacks in the occupied West Bank, the murder of 15-year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the racist incitement of Israeli officials, and Israel’s military aggression in Gaza.
Israeli police and security forces dispersed the protests through the massive arrests of more than 500 demonstrators, as well as physical attacks on protesters, and by using dogs and ‘skunk’ water cannons. One-third of those arrested were children, with the police violating all of the special rules that apply to their arrest and detention as minors.
Adalah’s lawyers represented scores of demonstrators, and will request investigations into violations of the law by the police, including police brutality against the protestors, to demand that those responsible for violations be held to account. These actions are crucial to protect Palestinian citizens’ right to freedom of expression and their right to protest.
Copyright © 2014 Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, All rights reserved.

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