The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150,

Amnesty International Calls on the U.N. Security Council to Establish Full Accountability for Crimes Committed in the Gaza War

Urges Deployment of Human Rights Monitors


As fighting continues in violation
of the U.N. Security Council's near unanimous adoption last night (Jan.
8) of resolution 1860 calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire in
Gaza, Amnesty International calls on the Security Council to take firm
action to ensure full accountability for war crimes and other serious abuses
of international human rights and humanitarian law.

In an open letter sent today to the Security
Council, Amnesty International also urged the Council to ensure that international
human rights monitors are immediately dispatched to Gaza and southern Israel
to investigate and report on continuing abuses by all parties to the

Israeli forces continue to carry out attacks
directed at civilians or civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip, which are
disproportionate. Palestinian armed groups continue to carry out rocket
attacks directed at Israeli population centers. The toll of civilian casualties
continues to rise alarmingly.

U.N. Security Council resolution 1860 calls
for an "immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire," for unimpeded
provision of humanitarian assistance and the reopening of crossing points
into Gaza. However, the resolution failed to state that parties must stop
violations of
international humanitarian and human rights
law. Nor does the resolution address the mounting evidence of war crimes
and other serious abuses of international law, or provide for an investigation
and for those responsible to be held to account.

The Security Council must ensure that there
is full accountability for all such crimes committed during the conflict.
Amnesty International urges the Security Council to immediately establish
a full, independent and impartial enquiry to investigate all alleged abuses
of international human
rights and humanitarian law by the parties
to the conflict.

Amnesty International also urges all states
to be ready to initiate criminal investigations and carry out prosecutions
before their own courts if the evidence warrants it.

After prolonged debate, the U.N. Security
Council adopted resolution 1860 on Thursday, Jan. 8, calling for an "immediate,
durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of
Israeli forces from Gaza." The resolution was adopted by a vote of 14
in favor. The United
States abstained. The resolution also calls
for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian
assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment, and calls for the
sustained reopening of crossing points on the basis of the 2005 Agreement
on Movement and Access between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses,
educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever
justice, freedom, truth and digity are denied.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

(212) 807-8400