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AOHR: All states must stop Israel's illegal actions in Gaza

November 27, 2023 at 12:58 pm

Thousands of protesters march through central London to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people and demand an immediate ceasefire to end the war on Gaza, in London, UK on 4 November 2023 [Amy A-D]

Governments around the world must ensure international law is upheld in Gaza more than 50 days after Israel launched a genocidal bombing campaign in the enclave killing more than 14,500 Palestinians, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has said,

Writing to the heads of governments of several states, AOHR said it highlighted a detailed legal opinion commissioned by the international law expert Dr Ralph Wilde, which said: “Israel’s current use of force in the Gaza Strip is part of a long-standing illegal use of force by that state in the territory which began in 1967. It is a violation of the use of force, an aggression, and the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.”

“The use of force in its current manifestation, supplementing the force-enabled siege with aerial bombardment and a land invasion, also involves breaches of the laws of war, a.k.a. international humanitarian law, including serious violations which constitute war crimes, and breaches of the prohibition of apartheid in particular and racial discrimination more generally,” it explained.

Israel actions, it continued, are now being highlighted by states, UN experts and human rights NGOs as “crimes against humanity and genocide”.

“Because fundamental international legal rules are being breached,” AOHR said, “third states (all other states apart from Israel and Palestine) have special legal obligations. They must not recognize as lawful, or provide any aid or assistance to, Israel’s use of force in, including its occupation of, the Gaza Strip. This means not affirming that Israel has a right to use this force, and ceasing support, including military support, to Israel for this purpose. They must also take positive steps to bring the illegal situation to an end.”

The letters have been sent to several states, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Canada, Spain and Morocco. Calling “on these and all other states to comply with their obligations.”

Watch: UNRWA director condemns unprecedented child casualties in Gaza