How can we help the people of Gaza? There is a humanitarian and medical catastrophe which the UNRWA and others are seeking to respond to. But this is the third war to have targeted the civilians of Gaza in the last 6 years. The killing of civilians, the killing of over 300 children, the deliberate collective punishment are war crimes. And the only way to stop the whole bloody cycle coming around again is to make some progress on bringing those responsible to justice.
Of course this will not be easy. The first thing which needs to be done is the verifiable documentation of the killings. The hugely courageous fieldworkers of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) have been doing that for the last weeks. They have been visiting bomb-sites and hospitals, and hospitals that were bomb-sites. They have been meeting with families and painstakingly recording the names and the circumstances of each killing. It is important to document each life lost, but the purpose is not just to insist on the humanity of those who have been murdered. The purpose is to collect the evidence that will allow those responsible to be held accountable.
In order to be effective PCHR need more than the courage of their fieldworkers and the expertise of their human rights lawyers. They also need the funds to be able to pursue hundreds of cases. Please donate if you can and share.
I was in Gaza just after the 2008/9 war, I know many of the brilliant people working at PCHR, it is heartbreaking what they are dealing with every day, lets give them our solidarity and help.
This legal defence fund will allow the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) – the leading Gaza based human rights organisation to:
– conduct detailed field research to document cases;
– provide a team of lawyers working on behalf of victims, at absolutely no cost to the victims;
– pay the punitive pre-case ‘deposits’ required for Palestinian victims in the Israeli courts;
– build both civil and criminal cases inside the Israeli system;
– build on PCHR’s pioneering ‘universal jurisdiction’ work around the world (so far PCHR is the only organisation who has successfully had warrants issued for the arrest of Israeli war criminals)
– advocate for Israel to face international accountability for its actions, including by placing Israeli generals in the dock at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Without a massive influx of funding to help the victims these goals will not be met effectively.
Following Operation ‘Cast Lead’ in 2009 PCHR built hundreds of legal cases. Sadly, many of them had to be abandoned because Israel placed enormous financial barriers on Palestinian victims who sought justice in its court system.
We must not let that happen again, please support the PCHR’s legal defence fund via the page on Indiegogo.
And share the details and encourage others to do so too.