International Human Rights Groups Support Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Call for Accountability for Gaza War Crimes

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August 6, 2014—In response to the grave risks faced by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and other human rights organizations during Israel’s ground invasion and bombardment of Gaza, the member organizations of the Bertha Justice Initiative Network,

including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Center for International Law (CenterLaw), Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo” (CCAJAR), European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), issued the following statement:

The Bertha Justice Initiative and its member organizations stand in full support of our courageous partner, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and its dedicated Director, Raji Sourani, and with the numerous other human rights and aid organizations working on the ground in Gaza in the face of the devastating Israeli military bombardment and invasion as well as the threat the invasion presents to the infrastructure and civil society in Gaza. We applaud the heroic efforts of PCHR and other NGOs for their tireless effort to document the catastrophic harms and international law violations suffered by Palestinians as a result of the Israeli military blockade and widespread attacks on civilians.

The Network condemns Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks within the Gaza Strip which have killed over 1,900 and wounded nearly 10,000 people, the overwhelming majority of whom are civilians. The attacks have targeted and destroyed countless homes, medical facilities, schools and places of worship, and have resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and an emerging humanitarian crisis. The Network calls for a sustainable and just cease-fire that takes into account the need to end the inhumane seven-year siege of Gaza, and we encourage states and civil society to join PCHR in seeking meaningful accountability for the war crimes and other grave violations of international law that have occurred.”

The Bertha Foundation recognises that the law has long been a crucial element in the struggle for social justice. The Bertha Justice Initiative supports law organisations that use the law as a tool for positive social change. By facilitating a global network of public interest lawyers and training emerging lawyers in this field, we work to inspire the growth of movement lawyering. Visit and follow @BerthaFN and @Be_Just_

The Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culurales, A.C. (ProDESC) is dedicated to contributing to the justiciability and the fulfillment of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) of communities and workers with the goal of creating a just and dignified world for all. Founded by Alejandra Ancheita in 2005, ProDESC envisions a world where workers and communities can defend their labor rights and their land, territory and natural resources, as well as ensuring corporate accountability of transnational companies and the State. To this end, ProDESC implements holistic strategies which empower communities and workers by defending and promoting paradigmatic cases of ESCR violations with a gender perspective; building alliances to engage State and non state actors to act in response to ESCR violations; and using the media to advocate for the themes ProDESC works on.

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