The General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, at its 17th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam, having received and considered many well-documented reports of violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights in respect of Israel’s acts of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territory of Gaza:

REITERATES its call for the General Assembly, under Article 22 of the UN Charter and SC Resolution 377, to establish a Special Tribunal to hold accountable the government  of Israel for its war crimes committed in Gaza during Israel’s invasion in December 2008 and January 2009;

DECLARES that Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza was an illegal act of aggression, in violation of the principles of the Nuremberg Charter, and the definition of aggression contained in the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3314 (1974).  In addition, its military attacks were a violation of its obligations to seek peaceful resolution of the situation under the U.N. Charter.

AFFIRMS that Israel’s bombing violated the Geneva Conventions in at least the following ways:

1.      It constituted collective punishment of the entire 1.5 million people in Gaza for the acts of a few militants;

2.      It targeted civilians in one of the most densely populated areas of the world; and

3.      It was a disproportionate response.  Moreover, Israel’s sealing off of the Gazan border has caused severe humanitarian crisis which affected the whole population.

DEPLORES the use by Israel of incendiary weapons, such as white phosphorous, which are outlawed by international conventions, to inflict damage and destruction on civilian targets;

FIRMLY REJECTS any claims by Israel that its illegal aggression was a justified act of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter.  Israel is the occupying power in Gaza, and any attack which originates from Gaza on Israel is within its territory, and does not trigger the right of self-defense.  As the occupying power, Israel has given up its right to claim self-defence under Article 51.

REAFFIRMS the right of the people of Gaza under international law to resist oppressive domination and, in accordance with UN Resolution 3314, Article 7, to fight for their self-determination.  The response of the people of Gaza was a justified resistance.

ASSERTS that the international legal community has the obligation to hold Israel accountable for its obligations under international and humanitarian law.  A Special Tribunal is required to ensure that that Israel’s violations in Gaza are fully investigated, and that the rule of law is applied to all State Parties within the international community.

Download resolution document: RESOLUTION ON AGGRESSION AGAINST THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY OF GAZA.final_.doc (26 KB)