Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

By Abdullah M. Abu Shawesh

One of the main issues that go side by side with any war is that each one of the involved parties raising his own claims and want the international community to take it as granted. Every part used to accuse the other of violating the international humanitarian law and international human rights. Since the two of them have the opposite accusations and the same request from the international community, this means a third respected and decent part should probably jump to the scene to take the lead and be the decider. This was the role been played by the United Nations (UN) and recently by The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

I am someone born in a refugee camp in Gaza and witnessed firsthand how they treated us and experienced the exact meaning to be born under the occupation with all its consequences, and also surrounded by the Israeli propaganda that dominates the mainstream media while no one on in the world cares about your trauma and nonstop suffering. Many of our friends have been killed and jailed for the very simple reason of seeking their freedom. This pain cannot leave our hearts especially when you’re denied the right to consider yourself a victim because this is monopolised by the Israelis as an exclusive right to them only. Their denial of the thousands of innocents who are killed in the last 10 weeks and questioning the numbers, their justification of the skyrocketing numbers of victims because they been uses as a human shield while we know that it’s completely not true, the levelling of Gaza and mass destruction of the essential infrastructures to make it an unlivable area and push the inhabitant to leave it, to the endless of their criminal acts against the Palestinian people. Add to that some reports published on their newspapers that contradicted and criticized many details of their entire claim.

Israel itself was built on a big lie. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, the main slogan dominated the western discourse was land without people for people without land. They completely denied our existence when they contested only 30% of the mandatory Palestine population till 15 May 1948, the majority of them were new arrivals from Europe.

Israeli conducted many crimes throughout its history even before the establishment of the state of Israel itself: the Jewish military gangs conducted Deir Yassen massacres, King David Hotel and many other war crimes against humanity at that time. Since 56 years ago, the age of the Israeli occupation to the Palestinian territories, the establishing and expansion of the settlement on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) besides many other acts are consisting wars crimes and crimes against humanity. But with the full immunity Israel enjoys combined by selectivity of applying the international law, these crimes are still ongoing with zero consequences and full impunity.

The history of Israeli is full of lies and propaganda and for that we have no other choice except to question their numbers and this is our legitimate right; building on our experience to skeptical and put many question marks on their claim without denying for sure the event itself. In this particular point we are fair enough to say also Israel have the full right not to accept our claims.

If this is the case and to not find ourselves engaging on the deaf dialoged or cockfight accompanied by more unneeded mobilization, we need to go back to history to learn more and shed light on the future. No doubt many grave tragic things happened around the world and international community stand united to investigate it. Before, during and after October 7, a grave human tragedy happened and should be investigated likewise other ones around the globe by an independent and decent intergovernmental body, mainly the UNHRC.

Since its creation; the UNHRC established 38 numerous forms of investigation bodies, six out of the (38) concerning the Israel aggressions and practices on the OPT.  It Started on 6 July 2006 by the fact-finding mission on human rights situation on the OPT, through the UN independent international commission on inquiry of the OPT and Israel established 27 May 2021. Except Goldstone fact finding mission 2009; Israel considered the other five of these missions as not relevant, having no mandate to investigate and did not permit any to enter the OPT to accomplish its duties.

To close the file on any crime, many core elements should be presented including the victims, the perpetrators, witness, jury, the investigators, the judges and the executors who should apply the verdict. This is the ideal case to grant justice for all. Israel is the only state in the world that wants to monopolize all these roles together except the perpetrator or the criminal. They are generous enough to leave this role to us to play and we have no other choice except to accept it. Unless with its blind supporters, Israel cannot accept to share any of these roles, and that explains its refusal to the five UNHRC inquiry missions before.

With the long history and experience of the Israeli lies, and to fully adhere to the international law roles and regulation, also to alien our self with the customary international law, we all should call on, and stress the need of having and international inquiry committee to investigate the latest escalation on the OPT and the alleged war crimes to grant justice for all victims, to secure the universal applicability of the international law, to put an end to impunity, and to insure that the ICC and ICJ accomplish their mandate.

To be rest assured that the current horrific and bloodshed will not be repeated, we all should call for and strongly support the establishing of an independent inquiry investigation committee, and we all should facilitate its work. Anyone who refuses this very basic element of justice means the individual or state is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and all of their accusation should be treated as false and fraud accusation.

No one is safe until everyone is safe; this principle should guide our work in the nearest future and we all need to adhere to it, and this can be granted only by the universal applicability of the international law and international humanitarian law. For sure after October, Israel is accusing the Palestinians of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and they did not stop repeating these accusations The international community should be strong and clear on this exact issue, any part refusing the international investigation mean that the individual is the one who conducted war crimes and crime against humanity, and in this case should to be blamed, and stand responsible and much of the accusations should be neglected and treated as false and fraudulent accusations.

Abdullah M. Abu Shawesh is the Ambassador of the Embassy of the State of Palestine to Nigeria

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