Civil Society Organizations Stand with the Commission of Inquiry against Rising Attacks

Date: 12 August 2022
The undersigned organisations extend their full support and pledge their ongoing cooperationwith the UN Commission of Inquiry on Palestine, which has been under mounting attack, led by Israel, including recent smearing of its work and members as antisemitic, and calls for its disbandment.
The Commission of Inquiry (hereinafter the CoI or the Commission), was established in May 2021 by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), to investigate underlying root causes of Israel’s systematic racial discrimination and repression against the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line. In particular, the CoI will examine events surrounding Israel’s suppression of peaceful assemblies with lethal force intended to quash the spark of Palestinian Unity Intifada,
Israel’s subsequent aggressive military offensive on the Gaza Strip in May 2021, and the killing of 276 Palestinians civilians by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and illegally transferred in colonial settlers throughout occupied Palestine, that month.
The Commission is particularly fundamental in light of Israel’s ongoing crimes and violations    against the Palestinian people, and its longstanding impunity, coupled with the deliberate failure of third states to recognise the situation as it is in Palestine, or take actions to bring the illegal occupation and apartheid to an end, including failing to implement recommendations from previous UN investigative mechanisms. The latest aggression on the population of the Gaza Strip
launched by Israel on 5 August 2022, which led to the killing of 46 Palestinians including 16 children and four women, and the injury of 360 Palestinians, is yet another flagrant example of Israel’s ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people which it is allowed to perpetrate without any accountability and countermeasures. The Commission is vital to investigate the ongoing violations and international crimes within their root causes, with an important mandate
towards ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability. If not addressed as a matter of urgency, these root causes and Israel’s impunity will continue to produce cycles of violence at the expense of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The latest calls for disbanding the Commission will only further aggravate violence, and impunity for international crimes perpetrated by Israeli authorities, and entrench the denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.
Since its establishment, the Commission has been under pressing and coordinated attacks by Israel, a US-led coalition of States, and civil society, alleging its mandate and work as “biased”
and “disproportionately focusing on Israel”. For example, during the interactive dialogue of the CoI’s mandate at the 50th session of the HRC on 13 June 2022, some 22 States, led by the United States, condemned the CoI’s mandate and called for the halt of the “longstanding disproportionate attention given to Israel in the Council”.
Most recently, following Commissioner Miloon Kothari’s media interview on 25 July 2022, the CoI has been smeared as antisemitic, taking quotes from Kothari's interview out of context while


using antisemitism accusations to halt the CoI’s investigation into Israel’s international crimes against the Palestinian people, including the crime against humanity of apartheid.
Such smearing and attacks included a letter on 31 July 2022 by Prime Minister Yair Lapid to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, accusing the Commission of endorsing and fuelling antisemitism and demanding, “the immediate removal of all three members of the Commission of Inquiry tasked with investigating Israel, and the disbanding of the Commission.”
Representatives of a number of States have also condemned the Commission and Mr. Kothari’s remarks as antisemitic, including: the United States, France, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Austria.
Since its establishment, Israel has been systematically supressing and silencing the voices of human rights defenders and civil society organisations, whether Palestinian, regional or international, advocating for the realisation of the rights of the Palestinian people and attempting to challenge Israel’s impunity, and its apartheid regime. Such attacks have also targeted international accountability mechanisms, including UN international Commissions of Inquiry
and Fact Finding Missions.
Israel has a record of attacks and non-cooperation with UN investigative bodies, UN special rapporteurs and the staff UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, including by preventing the entry into Palestine, leading organised lobbying efforts against such bodies, and engaging smear campaigns accusing the bodies of bias and ‘antisemitism’. As such, the latest attack on the mandate of the CoI is a continuation of Israel’s systematic efforts to shut down internationally mandated accountability mechanisms.
The intense attacks come in light of the unique and historic mandate of the present Commission, the first permanent UN investigative body with a comprehensive mandate covering colonised Palestine, the entirety of the Palestinian people, including refugees and exiles in the diaspora. As such, the present Commission is a crucial step toward the recognition and remedy of Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime as the root cause of Israel’s perpetual violations of
international law in Palestine.
Our organizations condemn and call for the end of the pressing attacks by Israel, the US-led coalition, and several organisations on the CoI. We call on all States to provide the utmost political, institutional and material support, and to engage in good faith with the mandate of the CoI, to enable this important accountability mechanism to continue with its mandate unhindered.
List of Endorsing Organisations:
Palestinian Organisations
1- Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
2- Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
3- Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
4- Bisan Center for Research and Development
5- Center for Defense of Liberties & Civil Rights "HURRYYAT"

6- Defense for Children International – Palestine
7- Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
8- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
9- Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)
10- The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem
11- The Community Action Center / Al-Quds University
12- The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy
13- The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy-
14- The Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO)
15- Union of Palestinian Women Committees Society (UPWC)
16- Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)

Regional and International Organisations
17- American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA)
18- Arab Lawyers Association (UK)
19- Arab Organization for Human Rights
20- Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ)
21- Association Suisse-Palestine ASP
22- Australian Centre for International Justice
23- Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
24- Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient, Luxembourg
25- Democratic Lawyers Italy
26- European Coordination of Committees and associations for Palestine
27- European Legal Support Center
28- European Trade Union Network for Justice in Palestine
29- Global Network of Movement Lawyers – Movement Law Lab
30- Good Shepherd Collective
31- ICAHD Finland
32- ICAHD- Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
33- International Association of Democratic Lawyers
34- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
35- International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
36- Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
37- Jewish Voice for Peace
38- Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
39- Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste (Canada)
40- Justice for Palestinians Calgary
41- Labor for Palestine
42- MENA Working Group FNV

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11-year-old Palestinian girl Rahaf Suleiman lost both her legs and her right arm as a result of an Israeli air strike in the latest Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

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Lyan Al-Shaer, 10 years old, is the 17th child killed by Israeli occupation air strikes in Gaza during Israel’s recent 3-day attack.

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video del 06-08-22

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8-year-old Palestinian child Imad Abu Shabika talks about his suffering on the rubble of his house that was destroyed by the Israeli occupation warplanes during the latest onslaught on #Gaza

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Recent Attack on Gaza + Free Ahmad Manasra Campaign

Over the weekend, Israel bombarded the captive population of Gaza yet again. This time, Israeli bombs killed 46 people, including 16 children, injured hundreds, and added another wound to the collective psyche of millions of Palestinians living with the daily, relentless violence that upholds Israel’s system of apartheid.


In light of these events, we are sharing four VP visuals you can use to contextualize the reality in Gaza. We are also boosting the campaign to free Ahmad Manasra from Israeli prison, whose situation remains urgent as his next hearing approaches on August 16.



View and download this visual in English and Arabic from our website.

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Visualizing Palestine is sustained by people like you. As we grow our outreach capacity, we also seek to grow the community of VP Members who are sustaining our work for the long term. Can you support with a recurring monthly or annual contribution of any amount? Can’t become a VP Member right now? One-time donations also make a difference!


Ahmad Manasra was arrested by Israeli authorities when he was only 13 and charged as an adult in military court. He has been in Israeli prison for seven years and has been held in solitary confinement for the past 7 months. According to the UN, spending more than 15 days in solitary confinement is torture.


Ahmad has been subjected to extensive violence while in prison with severe consequences to his mental and physical health.

You can take action now to demand Ahmad’s release prior to the next court hearing on Thursday, August 16th that will consider extending his solitary confinement, a brutal violation of his human rights:


  1. Sign Palestine Global Mental Health Network‘s petition to demand Ahmad’s release. 
  2. If you are based in the U.S., email your member of Congress or use US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) toolkit to tweet your representatives.
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Gaza is NOT a Breaking News Cycle

Good Morning,


As you might have seen or heard, Israel launched yet another assault on the besieged Gaza strip, with bombardments and airstrikes killing 45 Palestinians and injuring more than 360, so far.


With the announcement of yet another precarious ceasefire, the international community’s attention is likely to move away from Gaza, yet again, leaving its people to mourn and rebuild in isolation under Israel’s 15 years of ongoing military siege. With this being Israel’s fifth assault since 2009, it is crucial to educate and inform ourselves and each other on Gaza, and to fight against its invisibilization and its dehumanization as mere periodical news cycle. Gaza has an ancestral history that is an integral and enmeshed part of Palestinian history. We must fight to keep it as part of the whole, and look ahead with a long-term vision, united against Israel’s intention to fragment and isolate Palestinians everywhere. 

This is why we are sharing with you again our latest Palestinian Takes email from June, which was on Gaza, marking the passage of 15 years of Israel’s militarysiege. The email includes various Palestinian perspectives and resources on Gaza’s present and past, intertwined to bring us to the current moment.


The Nakba in 1948 and “the Gaza strip”:

The centrality of Gaza to iconic Palestinian food and land cultivation:

  • At home, on the sidewalks or dangling from the roofs of the shops at the markets or crossroads, this is how the branches of the unripe dates, called the “red gold”, announce they’re in season, a fruit after which the city of Deir Al-Balah (Land of Unripe Dates) is named.
  • Famous recipes have been curated by the Palestinian chef from Gaza, Laila Haddad in the Gaza Kitchen cookbook, documenting people’s history and daily life through traditional dishes like the Rumaniyya (eggplant lentil pomegranate bowl) and Dagga (hot tomato and dill salad).
  • With its long Mediterranean coastline, fishery became a major source of food culture and sovereignty for many families. Yet, following the Israeli blockade in 2007, fishermen were systematically prevented from accessing the sea beyond 20 nautical miles, which gradually decreased to 3 nautical miles, while regularly being targeted and shot at by the Israeli naval army.
  • “In a few years there will be no more fishing at all, we will have to forget our profession and become traders”, said Gaza fishermen in a documentary on the topic.

Palestinian fishermen preparing their fishing nets in Gaza city – Palestinian Museum Digital Archive

A testing ground for apartheid, weapons and colonial repression:

  • In 1948, Palestinian refugees “were not expecting that their exodus would be prolonged for seven decades, and that they would be subjected to condescending efforts to void their right to return.” writes Jehad Abu-Salim.
  • In the span of two decades, the Israeli regime has led four aerial bombardment campaigns, killing and injuring thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza, intentionally treating it as a testing ground for its military capabilities before it is exported all over the world.
  • “All the injustices Palestinians in Gaza face are a direct consequence of the continued denial of freedom, dignity and return. Overshadowing it with a humanitarian crisis is depriving the people in Gaza of their political will and reducing them to poor, powerless and passive subjects.” – writes Abir Kopty.
  • This thematic chronology by the Interactive Encyclopedia on Palestine is an important resource  covering how main events unfolded in the Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014-2015.

This visual by Visualizing Palestine explains how the Israeli closure on Gaza started long before the blockade and in the height of the 1990s peace process. 

We will never forget and never forgive: Palestinian testimonies from under the rubble:

  • “My brother was the only one who lived the long 12 hours under the rubble with me. He was calling my name every 5 minutes, asking: ‘Omar are you still alive?’ In his last moments, he asked me to forgive him and pronounced the Shahada. He knew he wouldn’t make it.” – This is the testimony of Omar Abu al-Ouf, the only survivor from his family of 17, who were all killed by an Israeli airstrike on their house in Gaza in May 2021
  • “My siblings and I were playing the moment when the rocket hit the ground, it exploded in front of us. I look around and I see my sister, cousins and brother! I gasped and held my sister and hugged her, I could not leave her.” – testimony of 15-years old Batoul Al Masri who lost her brother and younger sister after an Israel missile hit them while playing in May 2021.

Gaza, an artistic, creative ground: 

  • A group of youth in Gaza launched a platform designed to share stories with the world, defying harmful stereotypes through storytelling – We Are Not Numbers.
  • “Gaza Mon Amour”, a film released in 2020 and produced by the twin Tarzan brothers exiled from Gaza, is a powerful moving tale and a love story where Gaza’s ancient Greek heritage meets today’s reality, full of humanity and love behind destruction and war.

I am 22 years old, I lost 22 people – A painting by Zeinab Al-Qolaq whose home was shelled by an Israeli airstrike in 2021, killing 22 of her family members overnight, including her mother and three siblings.

Only after having unpacked the situation in Gaza can prospects for decolonization and liberation be found.

Though it is not always easy to fight against oppressive forces, we shall remain strong and united, educating, mobilizing and organizing with you from Gaza, to Nablus and beyond.

In Solidarity,


Inès Abdel Razek,

Advocacy Director

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Prendo spunto da una recente sentenza della Corte Suprema di Israele del 5 luglio scorso; è opportuna, però, una premessa.

Giustamente, a proposito del conflitto in corso in Ucraina, è unanime la condanna dell’alto numero di vittime civili, soprattutto se bambini/e. Il diritto internazionale ed in particolare la IV Convenzione di Ginevra tutelano i civili che non dovrebbero essere mai coinvolti nei conflitti, men che meno esserne vittime. Laddove accade, quantomeno dovrebbero essere accertate eventuali responsabilità e garantito un risarcimento del danno. In Ucraina si sono già svolti processi avanti a tribunali ordinari ed è operativa una squadra investigativa della Corte penale internazionale ( per inciso: con inusuale solerzia, senza neppure attendere l’esaurimento dell’iter giudiziario nazionale).

In Israele mai è intervenuta condanna di soldati o coloni per le uccisioni di palestinesi o attivisti internazionali. La Corte penale internazionale è minacciata e ostacolata nella sua attività di indagine.

La sentenza del 5 luglio scorso della Corte Suprema conferma quanto già stabilito in primo grado dal tribunale di Beer Sheba nel 2018 ( la lentezza della giustizia non è prerogativa solo italiana!) e cioè che la vittima, se residente nella Striscia di Gaza, non ha diritto al risarcimento. Il caso è emblematico perché riguarda un ragazzo di 15 anni, Attiya Nabaheen, diventato tetraplegico perché colpito da proiettili israeliani mentre era nel terreno prospiciente la sua casa vicino ad Al-Bureji. Il fatto risale al 2014 durante l’eccidio denominato “ Margine protettivo”.

Otto anni dopo la giustizia israeliana sancisce che il ragazzo e la sua famiglia non hanno diritto ad alcun risarcimento perché……..residenti a Gaza.

Il supporto legale è fornito da una legge del 1952, reintrodotta nel 2012, sulla responsabilità dello Stato ( legge sui torti civili) che prescrive che i residenti in un territorio dichiarato dal governo israeliano “ territorio nemico” non hanno diritto a risarcimenti. Gaza è stata dichiarata “territorio nemico” nel 2007 subito dopo il ritiro dei coloni nel 2006. In altre parole, i gazawi sono in ogni caso responsabili di quanto gli accade per il solo fatto di essere lì, magari da generazioni oppure perché profughi da altre zone della Palestina. La legge rappresenta un unicum nel panorama internazionale perché lega conseguenze negative non alla condotta della persona ma al dato neutro della residenza. La qualifica di “nemico”, e come tale potenziale legittimo obiettivo, discende dal risiedere in territorio nemico. Ecco perché nessun gazawi, neppure le bambine e i bambini uccisi nei giorni scorsi, avrà mai un risarcimento.

Un passaggio della sentenza è particolarmente interessante nella sua franchezza e spregiudicatezza. Sostiene la Corte che la legge non è contraria al diritto internazionale ma se anche lo fosse la Knesset ha il potere di annullare il diritto internazionale. Ed ancora: la ratio della norma risiede nella deliberata volontà di danneggiare il nemico che non deve trarre alcun profitto dalla condotta,( anche se criminale, ndr) dello Stato di Israele.

La Knesset, quindi, organo politico per eccellenza, persegue una esplicita finalità politica e legifera in modo da ottenere il risultato voluto anche in spregio delle più elementari regole di diritto internazionale.

Attiya è dal 2014 su una sedia a rotelle, colpevole solo di risiedere a casa sua nella Striscia di Gaza. I media non hanno mai parlato di lui così come nulla hanno detto dei 15 bambini uccisi nei giorni scorsi. Hanno riportato il numero, qualcuno accreditando la versione israeliana per cui sarebbero rimasti vittime dei razzi palestinesi. L’asservimento della quasi totalità degli organi di informazione alla propaganda sionista ha raggiunto anche in questa occasione livelli inimmaginabili. Così Israele è libero di bombardare Gaza perché unilateralmente dichiarato “territorio nemico”, è libero di affermare con legge che garantisce il diritto all’autodeterminazione solo alla popolazione di religione ebraica, è libero di affermare, in sentenze e non solo, che il diritto internazionale non lo riguarda. Eppure è costante il ritornello per cui “ è l’unica democrazia del medio oriente”.

A Gaza nei giorni scorsi, sotto le bombe, qualcuno ha affisso un manifesto rivolto agli europei con la scritta: “Sino a quando dovremo pagare le vostre colpe ?”.

Legittima la domanda, difficile la risposta.

8 agosto 2022 Ugo Giannangeli

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I take my cue from a recent sentence of the Supreme Court of Israel of last July
5; however, a premise is appropriate.
With regard to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the condemnation of the high
number of civilian victims, especially children, is rightly unanimous.
International law and in particular the IV Geneva Convention protect civilians
who should never be involved in conflicts, let alone be victims of them. Where
this happens, at least any liability should be ascertained and compensation for
damages guaranteed. In Ukraine, trials have already taken place before ordinary
courts and an investigative team of the International Criminal Court is
operational (by the way: with unusual diligence, without even waiting for the
national judicial process to be exhausted).
Israel has never condemned soldiers or settlers for the killings of Palestinians
or international activists. The International Criminal Court is threatened and
hindered in its investigation.
The decision of the Supreme Court of 5 July confirms what was already
established in the first instance by the Beer Sheba court in 2018 (the slowness
of justice is not only an Italian prerogative!) And that is that the victim, if
resident in the Gaza Strip, has not right to compensation. The case is
emblematic because it concerns a 15-year-old boy, Attiya Nabaheen, who became a
quadriplegic after being hit by Israeli bullets while he was on the ground
overlooking his house near Al-Bureji. The fact dates back to 2014 during the
massacre called "Protective margin".
Eight years later the Israeli justice establishes that the boy and his family
are not entitled to any compensation because ……Resident in Gaza.
Legal support is provided by a 1952 law, reintroduced in 2012, on State
Liability (Civil Wrong Act) which requires that residents in a territory
declared by the Israeli government "enemy territory" are not entitled to
compensation. Gaza was declared "enemy territory" in 2007 immediately after the
withdrawal of the settlers in 2006. In other words, the Gazans are in any case
responsible for what happens to them simply by being there, perhaps for
generations or because they are refugees from others areas of Palestine.
The law is unique on the international scene because it links negative
consequences not to the conduct of the person but to the neutral data of
residence. The qualification of "enemy", and as such a potential legitimate
target, derives from residing in enemy territory. That's why no Gazaw, not even
the girls and boys killed in recent days, will ever get compensation
A passage of the sentence is particularly interesting in its frankness and
unscrupulousness. The Court argues that the law is not contrary to international
law but even if it were, the Knesset has the power to overrule international
law. And again: the rationale of the law resides in the deliberate will to
damage the enemy who must not derive any profit from the conduct, (even if
criminal, ed) of the State of Israel.
The Knesset, therefore, the political body par excellence, pursues an explicit
political and legislative purpose in order to obtain the desired result even in
disregard of the most elementary rules of international law.
Attiya has been in a wheelchair since 2014, guilty only of residing in his home
in the Gaza Strip. The media have never talked about him as they have said
nothing about the 15 children killed in recent days. They reported the number,
some crediting the Israeli version that they would have been victims of
Palestinian rockets. The enslavement of almost all the media to the Zionist
propaganda reached unimaginable levels on this occasion as well. Thus Israel is
free to bomb Gaza because unilaterally declared "enemy territory", it is free to
affirm with a law that guarantees the right to self-determination only for the
Jewish population, it is free to affirm, in judgments and not only, that
international law it does not concern him. Yet the refrain that "it is the only
democracy in the Middle East" is constant.
In Gaza in recent days, under the bombs, someone has posted a poster addressed
to Europeans with the inscription: "Until when will we have to pay your sins?".
The question is legitimate, the answer difficult.
8 August 2022 Ugo Giannangeli

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