RLA solidarity mission to Gaza
This week, a five-member delegation of the RLA Foundation witnessed the impact of “Operation Protective Edge” and the closure of Gaza on human rights defenders’ work inside Gaza. They went to Gaza to reaffirm their fullest solidarity with Raji Sourani (RLA 2013) and his colleagues at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and to inquire into the threats and restrictions Raji Sourani and his colleagues face with regards to their security, rights and fundamental freedoms.
The delegates noted: “What we have witnessed is the aftermath of a manmade disaster. ‘Operation Protective Edge’ has been the second major offensive on the Gaza Strip in five years and its impact has been devastating. We learned that many people, and particularly children, are severely traumatized after the attacks and are in urgent need of psychological support. From the stories we heard and our own observations, many of these attacks were clearly directed towards civilians and civilian property. They were not collateral damage as a result of attacks against military targets. (…) we fully support the UN Human Rights Council’s on-going investigation of purported violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in the latest Gaza conflict. We hope that the independent Commission of Inquiry will establish responsibility for these crimes and hold those who have committed them to account.”