Amnesty International interim Secretary General has called for an international inquiry into the deaths caused by the raid on the aid flotilla in international waters outside Gaza yesterday.
“Given the international nature of this incident and the continuing lack of credible Israeli investigations into violations of human rights in the context of the Gaza conflict, there is also a need for an immediate international investigation,” said Claudio Cordone interim Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“The Israeli authorities have the primary responsibility to investigate the use of lethal force by its forces, as well as the claims by Israeli officials that Israeli forces were attacked with a range of weapons. But for full credibility and transparency, Israel should invite the relevant UN experts to carry out an investigation into the events of 31 May.”
“Beyond this tragedy, however, it is imperative that Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza without delay, as it is a form of collective punishment in contravention of international law and primarily affects the most vulnerable among the population.”
For nearly three years, Israel, which is the occupying power in the Gaza Strip, has implemented a policy of banning all movement of goods and people, except for the most basic humanitarian necessities, which are imported by international aid agencies. Only a fraction of patients in need of treatment outside Gaza are allowed out, and dozens have died waiting for Israeli permission to travel.
Israel has a duty under international law to ensure the welfare of Gaza ’s inhabitants, including their rights to health, education, food and adequate housing.
- 'You can't bring back the dead', Crisis campaign coordinator Jenny Leong, 2 June 2010