ICHR’s Delegation Meets Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza

Gaza / Mr. Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Gaza government received Dr. Ahmad Harb, Commissioner-General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) to discuss several issues related to the status of human rights in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military aggression, and to discuss efforts towards achieving national reconciliation and ending of the internal state of internal political division towards restoring national cohesion among Palestinians. The visiting delegation included the Commissioner General Dr. Ahmad Harb, Dr. Eyad Sarraj, member of the Board of Commissioners, Advocate Ghandi Rab'I, the Director of the Monitoring Policies and National Legislation Department, Advocate Jamil Sarhan, Director of ICHR's Gaza Program and Mr. Bahgat Al-Hilo, ICHR's Public Relations and Media Coordinator in the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Haniyeh welcomed ICHR's delegation indicating that all segments of the Palestinian society were partners in repelling the Israeli aggression, including human rights organizations. He addressed the Commissioner-General, saying: "You are partners in making this victory," adding that steps have been taken towards achieving the national reconciliation through meetings that took place with Fateh Movement, and the support of Hamas Movement and the government in Gaza to steps taken by President Mahmoud Abbas to go to the United Nations for membership of the State of Palestine."

Dr. Harb praised the spirit of resistance and steadfastness achieved during the Israeli aggression on civilians in the Gaza Strip, and offered sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the families of the martyrs, and wished speedy recovery for the wounded. He stressed that ending the political division and achieving national reconciliation is the real coronation that the Palestinian people are waiting for the heroic steadfastness achieved during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. He noted that respect for and safeguarding the Palestinian human rights is a real beginning and a solid tributary for the achievement of the national reconciliation and putting an end to the political division. The achievement that has been made in aborting the Israeli scheme during the eight-day aggression against civilians in the Gaza Strip is an achievement that has consequences. These are exemplified in the need to expedite the termination of all impacts and repercussions brought by the internal political division, first and foremost, restoring the national cohesion, addressing all human rights violations, ending the political prisoners' file, and protecting the rights and public freedoms of all Palestinian citizens.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Government Officials in Gaza, Dr. Harb spoke about the extrajudicial killings involving seven citizens during the aggression, and considered that those killings constitute a blatant violation of the right to life. He noted that the killing incident "offended the clean and coherent national image, which was manifested during the aggression", calling for an investigation into those incidents, the announcement of the results to the public, bringing the perpetrators to justice and a fair trial, and establishing the principle of responsibility and accountability.

Mr. Haniyeh also expressed strong condemnation for the extrajudicial killings that took place during the aggression, noting that extra-judicial killings are rejected at the official and legitimate levels. He noted that a Committee was formed to seriously investigate into the killing incidents, and that measures will be taken to expedite the implementation of the recommendations of this Committee, expressing his government's readiness to compensate the victims.

Mr. Haniyeh also informed ICHR's delegation of the Gaza government's decision to pardon and release of individuals who had a relationship with the events that accompanied the political division in the Gaza Strip, as a step towards building confidence and promoting national reconciliation.

The Commissioner-General clarified that ICHR has used all its efforts during the Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip to call on the international community, including state parties to the Fourth Geneva Conventions, The International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions, national institutions, human rights organizations and the international community as a whole to play an active role and intervene to stop the military aggression on the Gaza Strip and the war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian civilian population especially crimes committed against Palestinian children, in compliance with their moral and legal obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. He also pointed out that the targeting of media organizations by the Israelis was an attempt to silence the voice of truth in grave violation of international law that ensured and protected the work of journalists and the media in times of war and/or conflict. He explained that the Israeli occupation deliberately targeted the media understanding the importance of its role in exposing Israeli illegal actions against the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories and in highlighting the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and ending of this illegal and prolonged Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem.