The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement today, 16Â November:
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the deadly military attacks perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza Strip that have reportedly killed at least 21Â Palestinians, many of them civilians, including a pregnant woman and seven children, and wounded more than 250Â other Palestinians.
The Bureau of the Committee also strongly condemns the killing of three Israeli civilians and the wounding of others as a result of rocket fire into Israel, which intensified after Israelâ€™s assassination of a Hamas leader on 14Â November 2012.Â The Committee has consistently denounced rocket firing by Palestinian militants indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians and called for its cessation.
The Bureau of the Committee demands that Israel, the occupying Power, end, immediately and unconditionally, its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.Â It considers that the policy and practice of extrajudicial killings are inadmissible under international law.Â Nothing can justify this deadly military operation that Israel is carrying out, gravely endangering the Palestinian civilian population and spreading fear and trauma among the population.Â The occupying Power should be held accountable for the killing and wounding of the innocent civilians in Gaza.Â All these actions are not only in flagrant violation of norms of international law but also are bound to spur further violence, casualties and mistrust.
The Bureau of the Committee emphasizes that the Fourth Geneva Convention obligates an occupying Power to protect the civilian population under its occupation, including through the provision of basic services, such as food and medicines.Â The applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has been repeatedly affirmed by its High Contracting Parties, as well as by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.Â We call on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take urgent and decisive action to uphold their obligation, under articleÂ 1, to â€œrespect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstancesâ€.
The Bureau of the Committee also considers that it is incumbent upon the Security Council to exercise its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter and engage itself fully with a view to defusing the crisis and saving civilian lives.Â The Council should take immediate and concrete steps to demand that the bloodshed is brought to an end, that Israel stop its military attacks against the Gaza Strip and that the civilian population is protected.Â The Council must also insist that Israel lift its blockade of Gaza, in accordance with its resolution 1860 (2009) and allow for Gazaâ€™s long-overdue recovery, reconstruction and long-term economic growth.