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Israel: Human rights access to Gaza imperative amid renewed exchange of fire

    Smoke billows following an Israeli military strike on Gaza City on 19 August.© AFP/Getty Images
    Smoke billows following an Israeli military strike on Gaza City on 19 August.© AFP/Getty Images
    August 19, 2014

    The resumption of Israeli air strikes and rocket fire from Gaza underscores the imperative need to grant human rights groups immediate access to monitor the situation, said Amnesty International today.

    Since the beginning of Israel’s military operation on 8 July 2014 in Gaza, Israeli authorities have denied repeated requests by Amnesty International to enter Gaza via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing. The organization also requested access from Egyptian authorities, who so far have not granted it.

    “The apparent resumption of Israeli airstrikes and rocket fire today is another reminder that our access to the Gaza Strip cannot wait. Valuable time has already been lost and it is essential that human rights organizations are now able to begin the vital job of examining allegations of war crimes,” said Anne FitzGerald, Amnesty International’s Director of Research and Crisis Response.

    “The Israeli authorities appear to have been playing bureaucratic games with us over access to Gaza, conditioning it on entirely unreasonable criteria even as the death toll in the region has risen.”

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are set to issue a joint statement calling on the Israeli authorities to immediately allow human rights groups access to Gaza.

     

    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations
    (613)744-7667 #236 jtackaberry@amnesty.ca