August 6, 2014—In response to the grave risks faced by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and other human rights organizations during Israel’s ground invasion and bombardment of Gaza, the member organizations of the Bertha Justice Initiative Network, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Center for International Law (CenterLaw), Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo” (CCAJAR), European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), ProDESC, and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), issued the following statement:
The Bertha Justice Initiative and its member organizations stand in full support of our courageous partner, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and its dedicated Director, Raji Sourani, and with the numerous other human rights and aid organizations working on the ground in Gaza in the face of the devastating Israeli military bombardment and invasion as well as the threat the invasion presents to the infrastructure and civil society in Gaza. We applaud the heroic efforts of PCHR and other NGOs for their tireless effort to document the catastrophic harms and international law violations suffered by Palestinians as a result of the Israeli military blockade and widespread attacks on civilians.The Network condemns Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks within the Gaza Strip which have killed over 1,900 and wounded nearly 10,000 people, the overwhelming majority of whom are civilians. The attacks have targeted and destroyed countless homes, medical facilities, schools and places of worship, and have resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and an emerging humanitarian crisis. The Network calls for a sustainable and just cease-fire that takes into account the need to end the inhumane seven-year siege of Gaza, and we encourage states and civil society to join PCHR in seeking meaningful accountability for the war crimes and other grave violations of international law that have occurred.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.