Israel not respecting international rights laws in Gaza: EU commissioner

[JURIST] The European Union Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel [official profile] on Tuesday said that Israel is not respecting international human rights law in the Gaza Strip. In an interview [text, in French] with the Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique, Michel said that the evidence, which experts agree upon and denounce, shows that Israel is not respecting international human rights laws. Speaking of the state of the Gaza Strip, Michel highlighted the conditions in which the people there are experiencing including the lessened amount of trucks carrying food to the region. He emphasized that:

International humanitarian law is not made for peace time and is done for the war. The first requirement is that the foundation is an occupying power has an obligation to safeguard people's lives, protect, feed and care for them. This is obviously not. From my point of view, it is tragic and I cannot accept it."[translation]
On Monday the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution [JURIST report] condemning the Israeli occupation in Gaza [press release] and demanding the immediate withdrawal of military forces. The council also decided to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate possible human rights violations. Last Friday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an independent investigation [statement text; JURIST report] of possible war crimes and human rights violations in the ongoing conflict [BBC materials] between Israel and combatants in the Gaza Strip. She called on Israel to respect the bounds of international law regarding the protection of civilians [Fourth Geneva Convention text], even if the Gaza combatants do not, stressing that Israel's responsibility to fulfill its international obligations is completely independent from the compliance of Hamas with its own obligations under international law.

 

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