In light of the decision reached by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to extend the court’s territorial jurisdiction to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, Gisha wishes to make the following points:

As part of our work to promote freedom of movement for Palestinians, and other human rights that depend on it, Gisha is witness to a recurring tendency on the part of Israeli courts to find “no cause for intervention” in the policies implemented by the state and the army. During legal proceedings, there is no discussion of Israel’s decision-making processes and their outcomes, let alone regarding the legality of its policy choices. High Court petitions submitted in April 2018 against the army’s rules of engagement during the “Great March of Return,” including one to which Gisha was a party, were rejected by the court, and the events were never properly investigated. Nor has there been a genuine investigation into grave incidents reported during the 2014 military operation in Gaza.

Gisha has repeatedly cautioned Israeli authorities and government officials against the violation of human rights inherent to the occupation, the ongoing closure on Gaza, and the “separation policy” enforced by Israel. These policies stand in violation of international law, with which Israel must comply.

In light of this picture, it is unsurprising that the ICC prosecutor found sufficient basis for conducting an investigation into the situation in the region. Grave violations of basic rights and of international law, which take place daily as a matter of routine, must be stopped immediately, and justice ensured for victims.