European Lawyers demand legal and political consequences
The European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH) denounces in the strongest terms the military attack by Israeli military forces on the Gaza aid flotilla in international waters, and the killing of at least 16 peaceful demonstrators. See BBC World News “Deaths as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship” at news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/10195838.stm.
Instead of acknowledging its responsibility for the crimes committed during the military attack on Gaza one and a half year ago – which have been documented in the UN “Goldstone Report” – and stopping its unlawful siege of Gaza, Israel is adding new crimes to its long record of unlawful actions.
The Gaza aid flotilla, originally comprising 8 ships carrying thousands of tons of construction materials, medical equipment and other aid, intended to sail to Gaza in order to deliver its humanitarian aid, and in order to break symbolically the unlawful blockade of Israel imposed on Gaza. Among the estimated 700 peace activists on board were the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, an elderly Holocaust survivor, and European legislators. One participant was Professor Norman Paech (German MP for the Left Party up to 2009), who is also a member of the German lawyers association VDJ, a member association of ELDH.
ELDH demands that the United Nations and the European Union take all necessary political and legal steps to demonstrate to Israel that they are not prepared to accept such humanitarian atrocities and violations of international law.
In particular ELDH demands
– immediate release of the peace activists, the crew and the ships
– immediate transfer of all humanitarian aid materials and equipment to Gaza
– an international investigation of the crimes committed during and after the military attack on the Gaza aid flotilla
– prosecution of the responsible Israeli soldiers and politicians
– an end to the unlawful blockade of Gaza by Israel
– acknowledgement by Israel of the crimes committed during the military attack against Gaza in 2009