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Testimony on IDF Summary Executions of Palestinian Civilians Given to UN

The Geneva-based human rights group Euro-Med Monitor has put together what amounts to an indictment of the IDF for what it says are dozens of cases of IDF troops committing summary executions of civilians in Gaza. It has requested an immediate investigation into these crimes, calling for the perpetrators to be held accountable, and for justice for all victims, it reports in a statement posted on Dec. 25.

Euro-Med Monitor submitted the initial file to Maurice Tydball Benz, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial or arbitrary executions; Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; Navanethem Pillay, head of the Investigative Committee on the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and Karim Khan, ICC Prosecutor. It urged the parties to take serious action within the international community in order to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, ensure a cessation of the ongoing unjustifiable killing, open a criminal investigation into all of the Israeli military’s reported atrocities, and achieve accountability and justice for every Palestinian victim and survivor.

The statement lists nine cases of summary executions by IDF troops between Nov. 9 and Dec. 21. All of these cases, emphasized Euro-Med Monitor, are merely examples of the numerous killings and field executions that have occurred in areas where Israeli land incursions are taking place, it said. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stressed that these Israeli executions violate international standards and the right to life stipulated in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, plus Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”

The Middle East Eye put the spotlight on the al-Khaldi family in Gaza City whose surviving members witnessed Israeli troops indiscriminately killing their loved ones, including at least one pregnant mother, several children and grandparents. “The killings are taking place in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip—areas placed under a media blackout and cut off by Israeli soldiers from access to hospitals and basic needs,” MEE reported. “Now as Israeli troops retreat from some locations, surviving residents are revealing details of the shocking crimes committed against them.

The Palestinian government media office on Dec. 23 said it had received testimonies about at least 137 Palestinians executed by Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip. “In some cases, groups of people were lined up in a pit dug by Israeli forces, before being shot and then buried in mass graves,” the media office said. Other instances included the killing of pregnant women walking to the hospital and waving white flags, as well as men shot and killed in front of their families.”