Australia must support investigative mechanism on Israel/OPT at Human Rights Council Special Session

Amnesty International welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to hold a special session to address the rapidly deteriorating situation across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Within a matter of weeks, the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has escalated from a crackdown by Israeli forces against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators in East Jerusalem to a full-scale armed conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.

As the death toll continues to mount – with more than 230 killed in Gaza and 12 killed in Israel – it is vital that the perpetrators of human rights violations, including unlawful attacks and crimes under international law are not permitted to commit abuses unchecked.

The UN Human Rights Council special session should ensure accountability for violations even given the current ceasefire, and after an end to the current hostilities.

Amnesty International Australia has written to the Australian government, asking Foreign Minister Marise Payne to support an investigative mechanism that can collect and preserve evidence of crimes and violations, and that would support and coordinate with the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court.