One year ago December 27th, Israel began air strikes on the Gaza strip, launching a three-week war in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. In a report on the conflict, renowned human rights investigator Richard Goldstone documented violations of international law on both sides, including disproportionate force by the Israeli government. The Nation reports:
Like its predecessors, the so-called Goldstone report, named after chief investigator Richard Goldstone, is devastating in its critique of Israeli actions: indiscriminate use of firepower; deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian structures, including hospitals, schools, mosques, water and sewage plants, and rescue vehicles; use of white phosphorus munitions in built-up areas; use of human shields; abusive treatment of detainees; imposition of a blockade on Gaza before and after the attack itself–the report concludes that Israel violated international humanitarian law, committed “grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons,” and war crimes, possibly even crimes against humanity.
To remember the victims of the conflict and to encourage the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, a group of 50,000 Palestinians and their international allies will lead a peaceful march in Gaza on New Year’s Eve. Peace Action West is joining with groups around the world to encourage Gaza Freedom March events in local communities between December 27th and 31st to call for the end of a blockade that Amnesty International calls a”form of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza, a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”