Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats

OpEdNews Op Eds

Rights Groups Call For Investigation Of Israeli Attack On Flotilla

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   News 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 6/2/10
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)

On May 31, Israeli troops attacked a flotilla headed to Gaza with humanitarian aid supplies. According to the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the flotilla, the six boats were carrying more than 10,000 tons of aid and about 600 passengers from more than 20 countries.

On one of the boats, the scene got ugly and violent, and at least nine people died.

Israel says that its troops were acting in self-defense. According to CNN, "the Israel Defense Forces said its troops 'were met with premeditated violence, evident by the activists' use of clubs, metal rods, and knives, as well as the firing of two weapons stolen from the soldiers.' It said troops responded with 'defensive action on behalf of the forces who felt their lives were endangered.'"

But the human rights group Amnesty International (AI) suspects that the Israeli troops overreacted. "Israeli forces appear clearly to have used excessive force," said Malcolm Smart, AI's director for the Middle East and North Africa. "Israel says its forces acted in self-defense, alleging that they were attacked by protestors, but it begs credibility that the level of lethal force used by Israeli troops could have been justified. It appears to have been out of all proportion to any threat posed." So AI has called for an independent inquiry into the incident.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) agrees. "A prompt, credible, and impartial investigation is absolutely essential to determine whether the lethal force used by Israeli commandos was necessary to protect lives and whether it could have been avoided," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director.

And they are not alone.

On June 1, a coalition of more than 30 NGOs from around the world, who had gathered at an International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in Uganda, signed a statement condemning the killing and injury of the civilians carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and calling on the international community "to immediately take all appropriate measures in response to this unacceptable violence."

The statement urged the following:

" The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip to be immediately lifted;

" The ICC Prosecutor to make an urgent determination regarding the opening of an investigation into the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT);

" The UN Secretary General to urgently address the UN Security Council with respect to the ongoing impunity crisis in Israel and the OPT in order to engage all appropriate international mechanisms;

" The UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court;

" All States Parties to the ICC to take all appropriate measure, at the diplomatic and legal levels, to uphold the rule of law in the OPT;

" The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently visit the Gaza Strip; and

" Israel to comply with their international legal obligation and cooperate with investigative authority.

The statement was signed by the following organizations:

- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

No Excuse for Racial Profiling

No, Dan, America is Not a Christian Nation

Tea Party Talking Points, Translated

The Myth of the Christian Right

Racism Then and Now

They Still Cling to Guns and Religion


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Something must be done, USA, just covers up the me... by Debbie S on Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010 at 9:09:40 AM
Turkey's got it right. There's no need for an inve... by Samson on Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010 at 5:47:09 PM