Sources directory of experts and spokespersonsMedia Names & Numbers Canadian media directoryParliamentary Names & Numbers Canadian government directorySources Hotlink media relations newsletter

Sources News Release RSS

Media Releases from members of Sources.
To submit a news release, use this form.

Gisha to Israeli Ministers: Stop Using Civilians in Gaza as a Weapon to Enforce the Ceasefire

December 18, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of people denied access to food, water and electricity because of actions they did not commit and which they cannot control.

As negotiations continue to renew the "ceasefire" agreement which is thought to expire at the end of the week, Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement today called on the Israeli government to stop its equation of deliberately harming Palestinian civilians in response to rocket fire by militants on Israeli towns.

Gisha warned that closing Gaza's crossings as a response to Qassam rocket fire violates international law and commitments made by the State of Israel to the Israeli Supreme Court. In a detailed legal opinion published today and sent to Israeli Cabinet ministers and the Attorney General, Gisha warned that the restrictions on the passage of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip cannot be considered a siege, a blockade or an economic sanction – but rather a closure imposed for the illegal purpose of collective punishment against innocent civilians. The Gaza Strip is occupied territory. Israel controls Gaza's borders and insists that humanitarian goods enter only through Israel's own crossings with Gaza – imposing a duty to permit that passage. Preventing humanitarian goods from entering Gaza also violates the duty that every nation in the world owes – to actively facilitate the passage of humanitarian goods to civilians affected by armed conflict.

Punishing civilians in Gaza for acts they did not commit and for political circumstances beyond their control by preventing the passage of goods contradicts commitments the State of Israel made before its own Supreme Court – that it would permit "minimum" quantities of supplies necessary for civilians.

Since the collapse of the ceasefire agreement on November 4, 2008, and unrelated to any concrete threat on the crossings, Israel has tightened the closure on Gaza, almost entirely preventing the passage of basic humanitarian goods to hundreds of thousands of families in Gaza. International law forbids deliberately firing rockets at Israeli civilians– and international law forbids intentionally harming Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by depriving them of basic goods.

According to Sari Bashi, Director of Gisha: "Any equation created between rocket fire by militants and the closure of Gaza's crossings to civilian goods violates the fundamental principle of international humanitarian law – to protect civilians. Civilians must not be used as a weapon to enforce agreements between combatants."

To read Gisha's Legal Opinion, "Gaza Closure Defined: Collective Punishment", go to

For more information contact:
Sari Bashi
Director of Gisha
Phone: .

Subject Headings:

    Information and Media Resources from Sources
Main News Release page Media releases from clients of the Sources media relations service.
Sources Calendar Check out newsworthy events from across Canada.
Sources Directory Search the Sources directory of experts, contacts and media spokespersons. Find how to include yourself in Sources.
Publish your news releases Sources can help you distribute your media releases
Media Names & Numbers Directory of Canada's print and broadcast media.
Parliamentary Names & Numbers Full contact information for government, political parties, lobbyists, and embassies.

Sources home page

Sources HomeSources directory of experts and newsmakersDownload free PDF sourcebooksMedia Names & Numbers Canadian media listsParliamentary Names & Numbers Canadian government directoryCanadian News ReleasesJournalism & Media LinksFame & Fortune Awards for Writers & JournalistsSources Calendar of Canadian eventsSources HotLink media relations newsletterProducts & services to get your message outInclude yourself in Sources and raise your profileAdvertising placements targeting opinion leadersAbout our AdvertisersSubscribe to Canada's top media & government directoriesCanadian media & government mailing lists & databasesDistribute your media releasesSuccess stories from Sources clientsEmployment & internship opportunitiesContact Sources