Life, gaza

Amnesty International, HRW demand access to Gaza

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Israel to “immediately” allow access to Gaza to investigate claims of violations against human rights.

20.08.2014
Amnesty International, HRW demand access to Gaza

ANKARA 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Israel in a joint statement to “immediately” allow access to Gaza for organizations to investigate claims of violations against human rights.

“The victims' and the public's right to know about what happened during the hostilities requires the Israeli authorities to ensure full transparency about their actions and to refrain from hindering independent and impartial research into all alleged violations,” said the statement, which was released on Wednesday.

According to the statement, Israeli officials have refused repeated Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch demands to enter Gaza through the Erez crossing border controlled by Israel. The NGOs have not received a positive response from Egyptian authorities as well.

“Valuable time has already been lost and it’s essential that human rights organizations now be able to enter the Gaza Strip to begin the vital job of verifying allegations of war crimes,” the statement said.

Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson asked: ““If Israel is confident in its claim that Hamas is responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, why is it blocking human rights organizations from carrying out on-site investigations?”

Amnesty International Secretariat says it has requested permission to enter Gaza three times since July 7, but the Israeli Civil Administration, which is under the Defense Ministry's control, stated that it could not process the requests and that the border was closed.

“Journalists, UN staff, humanitarian workers, and others with permits have been able to enter and exit via Erez throughout this period,” contests the NGO in the statement.

Israeli authorities last permitted Human Rights Watch to enter Gaza through the Erez border crossing in 2006, and Amnesty International in 2012.

At least 2036 Gazans were killed and more than 10,000 others were injured since the beginning of Israel’s military operation “Protective Edge”, which started on July 7. 

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