Sunday, August 10, 2014

Open letter to Mr. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, - For humanity and the little remained credibility of international law: Un Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stand for law and Justice or resign!

Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association - ADDAMEER - For humanity and the little remained credibility of international law: Un Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stand for law and Justice or resign!



For humanity and the little remained credibility of international law:
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stand for law and Justice or resign!

Mr. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
 
We, the under signed Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations are extremely disappointed by your performance, notably by your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of IHL, which amount to war crimes. Until today, you have taken no explicit and tangible measures to address the recent Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 13 June. Moreover, your statements have been either misleading, because they endorse and further Israeli false versions of facts, or contrary to the provisions established by international law and to the interests of its defenders, or because your words justify Israel’s violations and crimes.
 
You have undeniably assumed a biased position toward the current attack on Gaza and Israeli violations in the West Bank by failing to clearly condemn Israeli unlawful actions in the OPT, while, on the other hand, not hesitating to accuse – sometimes mistakenly – Palestinian combatant in Gaza of violations of international law. This bias can be noted in the following excerpts:
 
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing today of at least 10 Palestinian civilians in shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah providing shelter to thousands of civilians.  The attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities.
 
Such statement, by failing to name the perpetrator (Israel), is not only biased, but also offensive to UNRWA, itself a UN agency, as well as to other UN agencies and international organizations the struggle to provide relief and protection to Palestinians in Gaza. UNRWA, which has lost nine staff in Gaza since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, hosts around 270,000 internally displaced (25% of Gaza’s population) in its shelters. UNRWA’s preliminary analysis on a previous attack against one of its schools has indicated that it had been hit by Israeli artillery, constituting an indiscriminate attack and likely a war crime.
 
Moreover, by condemning the storage of weapons in UNRWA schools without offering a complete details and a proper account on international law, your statements endorse Israeli excuses to unlawfully, indiscriminately target such civilian objects.
 
In addition, by condemning
 
the reported violation by Hamas of the mutually agreed humanitarian ceasefire which commenced this morning. He is shocked and profoundly disappointed by these developments,
 
the Secretary-General reveals a reckless endorsement of Israeli version of facts, blaming Hamas for violating the cease-fire, even though admitting that “[t]he Secretary-General notes that the UN has no independent means to verify exactly what happened”, and, still, demanding “the immediate and unconditional release of the [falsely allegedly] captured soldier”.
 
The following statement further illustrates the Secretary-General’s ignorance of facts on the ground:
 
The Secretary-General has learned with concern that leaflets are reportedly being dropped by the Israeli Defence Forces in the northern Gaza Strip this evening, warning tens of thousands of residents to leave their homes and evacuate to Gaza City.
 
If true [our emphasis], this would have a further devastating humanitarian impact on the beleaguered civilians of those areas of the Gaza strip, who have already undergone immense suffering in recent days.
 
The drop of leaflets had been a known practice since the beginning of the Israeli operation in Gaza, contributing to a scenario ofmore than 480,000 internally displaced.
 
In the same statement,
 
The Secretary-General strongly urge[d] all sides to avoid any further escalation at this time[, noting] that all sides must meet all obligations under international humanitarian law, both towards civilians ahead of impending attacks, as well as maintaining proportionality in any kind of military response,
 
Revealing an undue equalization of the two sides of the conflict and failing to address the greater impact of violations committed by Israel, which has killed at least 1,814 the vast majority of whom are civilians, during its operation in Gaza.
 
Mr. Secretary-General,
 
When you make no distinction between oppressors and victims, in all your statements,
 
When you name Palestinian combatants as perpetrators of violations and war crimes while you ignore naming Israel, as you used to do in referring to specific actions,
 
When you avoid codifying Israeli actions amount to war crimes, while you insist on prescribing Palestinian reactions as grave breaches of IHL,
 
When you always advocate unlawfully the Israel right to self-defense, while having not pointed out the Palestinians legitimate and legal right to resist occupation, colonization and institutionalized discrimination,
 
When you adopt and advocate Israeli false stories, while not mentioning Palestinians’ narrative,
 
When you disregard facts on grounds clearly resulting from Israeli attacks, while you seek the immediate and unconditional release of a falsely captured soldier who was in the battle field, 
 
You do not maintain peace and security; nor do you ensure human rights.
 
By reviewing yours statements, it becomes evident you have not been fulfilling your mandate. In contrary, your statements have not only allowed the continuance of Israel’s killing our people, but also, encouraged States to continue providing Israel with impunity. As you cannot say the truth, we advise you to either drastically change your positioning – not only in words, but also in your efforts to, through the UN, effectively end the current conflict – or to resign. For us, if you continue playing this role, you prove what our people feel, that you are a partner in, or at least an enabler of, the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel against our, families, children, women, elders – against our people.