21 August 2020

London - Every year on the 21 August, the world celebrates the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism which adopted by the UN General Assembly under the Resolution 165/72, with the aim of supporting and honoring the victims of terrorism in all countries of the world, protecting their rights, supporting them and encouraging them to survive. This day comes at a time when Palestinian victims continue to struggle to support their needs, demand their justice and preserve their rights, which are violated by the Israeli occupation authorities with various kinds of violations, amid the apparent inability and decomposition of the international community to fulfil its legal and moral duty to protect them and to confront organized Israeli terrorism against them.

The international day comes to remember and tribute the victims of terrorism, at a time while all of the Palestinian people are still being the victims of the terrorism of the Israeli occupation, since 1948 the occupation which has been keen to establish a military system based on terrorism through repression, murder, arrest and collective punishment. Palestinian victims continue to suffer from the terror of the Palestinian land occupation, the use of excessive force against civilians, the policy of arbitrary arrest and torture, the continuation of settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the continuation of the campaign of Judaization of Jerusalem, the forced displacement of its inhabitants, and the maintenance of the separation wall in the West Bank, which has swallowed 58% of Palestinian land and property, also has caused devastating social and economic consequences. The Israeli occupation forces also continue to punish the families of Palestinian victims by following the policy of demolishing their homes as a collective punitive measure, as in this context the statistics indicate that 226 Palestinian homes have been demolished since the beginning of 2020.

The day in this year comes while Palestinian victims in the Gaza Strip continue to suffer from the effects of the Israeli blockade imposed on them since 2006, and the effects of the Israeli aggression in 2014, which killed 2,219 Palestinian civilians, including 556 children and 299 women. Another 11,036 people were injured, and 31,981 units and residential buildings were destroyed. Despite the passage of five years of aggression, the victims and their families did not receive justice and fairness, as thousands of injured victims who were injured during the aggression are still going to the hospitals suffering from great psychological effects, while thousands of housing units, buildings and factories destroyed during the aggression which their owners still suffering as a result of their lack of compensation and justice. In addition to the ignorance of all demands by human rights institutions to prosecute and punish those responsible for this terrorism.

On the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, frustration controls the feelings of Palestinian victims, especially as the international community ignores their continued suffering, without any serious steps that been taken to bring them justice and prosecute those who have committed terrorism against them. The international platform “iPalestine”, therefore, takes this chance to remind the international community of its obligations to ensure the human rights for these victims, to ensure their justice and to achieve their rights to redress and reparations guaranteed by international human rights law. The international platform also emphasizes that Palestinian civil society organizations have an essential and an important role to play in helping these victims overcome their injuries, take their hands towards healing, repairing wounds and to provide them with the necessary support through the following:

  • Spreading awareness among victims about their rights, by holding awareness sessions that introduce them to the nature of the work of international courts, clarify their rights and train them on how to participate in submitting the complaints.
  • Seeking to strengthen international conventions at the international and national levels to grant victims of terrorism legal status and protect their rights and justice.
  • Providing emotional and health support to victims, in the short, medium and long term.
  • Taking all measures to protect victims and their families from abuse, intimidation and reprisals, which may be committed against them while claiming their rights.
  • Providing financial support to victims.
  • Raising world public opinion in a way that serves to strengthen and protect Palestinian victims by publishing information and documents explaining the harm done to them.

The support of Palestinian victims of terrorism depends mainly on the role of the international community, which must activate international prosecution, which has the essential role in promoting the rights and protection of victims. On this day, the international platform calls on the international community to fulfil its legal and moral obligations towards the people in the occupied Palestinian territories, to activate the principle of prosecution, and to ensure not to leave the leaders of the Israeli occupation unpunished for their crimes and terrorism.