Center for Constitutional Rights issues statement in support
November 23, 2015, New York – Today, in response to a detailed submission to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by a Palestinian human rights delegation regarding Israel’s attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
This submission to the ICC by Palestinian civil society, including CCR partner organizations the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Al-Haq, is the first of its kind. The submission lays out extensive new factual and legal analysis for the court to examine the Palestinian organizations’ and victims’ case for crimes against humanity and war crimes by senior Israeli officials. The ICC was created precisely for the purpose of ensuring criminal accountability for crimes on the scale of those committed against the civilian population of Gaza last year during the so-called “Operation Protective Edge” – a 51-day military offensive against the Palestinian population of occupied Gaza. It is vital for the integrity of this international court that its judicial independence be respected as it considers the evidence presented today. Ongoing impunity for those who ordered and carried out an assault that killed more than 1,540 Palestinian civilians, including 556 children, makes clear that the ICC, as the court of last resort, represents the only hope for justice for Palestinians. Political pressure – including through efforts to limit the court’s funding – must not obstruct this court’s consideration of the evidence before it. The United States must recognize that peace cannot come without justice.
The delegation met with the Prosecutor in The Hague today to discuss the evidence collected over the last year and the arguments laid out in the submission. CCR Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher accompanied the Palestinian delegation, which called the meeting an important step towards ending impunity.
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.