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2010 | PCHR Report ‘Genuinely Unwilling’ on Israel’s International Law Obligations in Gaza 2010

This 2010 Report by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights explores Israel’s perceived non-compliance with its obligations under international law. The report places special emphasis on the Gaza War in the winter of 2008-2009 (Operation “Cast Lead”), and the apparent unwillingness of the Israeli authorities and judiciary to respond adequately to allegations of war crimes by the IDF.

International Humanitarian Law imposes on states the obligation to effectively investigate and prosecute war crimes. Following the offensive however, over 1500 civil and criminal complaints have not lead to any domestic investigation.  The report provides a thorough analysis of Israel’s criminal and civil procedural mechanisms and concludes that the Israeli judiciary system is not only unwilling but also unable to investigate the conduct of IDF commanders independently and credibly. This incapability is itself a violation of Israel’s international legal obligations.

Due to the lacking of effective recourse for Palestinian civilians within the Israeli legal system, universal jurisdiction, the report concludes, might be the only mechanism capable of providing the possibility of holding offenders of humanitarian law accountable.