Nearly 150 legal scholars and experts on international humanitarian law have signed a joint resolution calling for an immediate end to the “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people living in Gaza who have now faced more than three weeks of bombardment by Israeli military forces under the guise of “self defense.”
The resolution—made public on Monday and still accepting signatories—asks the “international community” to intervene on behalf of those living in Gaza and directly challenges the Israeli government’s continued assertion that its attack on Gaza—often referred to as the world’s largest “open air prison”—is justified under international law.
The opening paragraph of the document states:
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Among the numerous and well-known signatories are John Dugard and Richard Falk, both of whom previously served the United Nations as special rapporteurs on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Others who signed include legal scholars from scores of institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and around the world. Numerous lawyers and scholars from the U.S. were represented as well, including several staff attorneys for the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and professors from a number of high-profile U.S. law schools.
As part of its call to action, the resolution states:
As of Tuesday, various media reports put the total death toll since Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge began on July 8 betwen 1,100 and 1,200 Palestinians, a large majority of whom are believed to be civilian with no ties to militant activity, including an estimated 200 children under the age of sixteen. As of Tuesday, an estimated 56 people had been killed on the Israeli side, including 53 IDF soldiers, two civilians, and one foreign national from Thailand.