Gisha calls on Israel to adopt the recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry: The closure and the unlawful and excessive use of force against demonstrators must end

February 28, 2019. Senior Israeli officials rushed to dismiss outright the recommendations of a report released today by the independent international inquiry commissioned by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council into the events surrounding demonstrations held in Gaza from March 30 – December 31, 2018. As early as April 2018, Gisha and other partners petitioned the Israeli High Court, demanding that the court order the state to revoke the rules of engagement allowing the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers on protesters posing no imminent danger to life. The court refused to intervene, and as the months went by, the death toll and the high number of injuries, including among children, women, medical workers and journalists, continued to rise.

Among the commission’s recommendations, which are also directed at Palestinian authorities and the international community, are calls on Israel to reverse sweeping restrictions on movement, to conduct independent and thorough investigations into the incidents and to enforce accountability for violations of the law. These principled and basic recommendations must not be ignored.

Israel continues to enforce a suffocating closure on Gaza, which primarily targets civilians, and continues to fire on unarmed demonstrators who pose no threat to life, week after week, in absolute prohibition of international law. The future of the region as a whole depends on respect for human rights and basic humanity.