The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) ended its bureau meeting in the Gaza Strip yesterday, 30 September, with a declaration affirming that Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip constitute a form of collective punishment and "a precursor to genocide" which has resulted in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The non-governmental organization of lawyers which enjoys consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) urged the international community to end Israel's impunity and systematic violations of humanitarian and human rights law.
The Gaza Declaration condemned Israel's acts of aggression against the Palestinian people, including the targeted killings perpetrated against civilians. It also affirmed the right to file lawsuits against the perpetrators of war crimes under the principle of international jurisdiction, and called on the UN to immediately implement the recommendations of the Goldstone report.
The declaration condemned the continued detention of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails, a large number of whom are being held under the unjust system of administrative detention. It deplored the continued arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of children separated from their families in clear violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
With regard to the complicity of the international community in the Israeli war crimes, the declaration said that the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it committed against the people of Palestine underscores its complicity in such crimes.
Should the International Criminal Court and the Security Council fail to hold Israel accountable, the association called on members of the General Assembly to act, under Article 22 of the UN Charter, and form an affiliated body to investigate the alleged crimes and prosecute their perpetrators.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad