UN Special Rapporteur report on Gaza provides crucial evidence that must spur international action to prevent genocide

a person holds a sign covered with flowers that reads "ceasefire now"
©Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand



26 March 2024

UN Special Rapporteur report on Gaza provides crucial evidence that must spur international action to prevent genocide

Amnesty International welcomes the new report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, which concludes there are “reasonable grounds to believe the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met”. As the UN Human Rights Council holds a meeting today to discuss the report’s findings, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said:

“This is a crucial body of work that must serve as a vital call to action to states. They must uphold their obligations under the Genocide Convention and take concrete measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza today.

“The time to act to prevent genocide is now. Third states must apply political pressure on the warring parties to implement the UN Security Council resolution adopted yesterday demanding an immediate ceasefire, use their influence to insist that Israel abides by the resolution, including by stopping the shelling and lifting restrictions on humanitarian aid. They must impose a comprehensive arms embargo against all parties to the conflict. They must also pressure Hamas and other armed groups to free all civilian hostages.

“The report comes two months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its ruling warning of a plausible risk of genocide. In that time, the situation in Gaza has grown exponentially worse, with thousands more Palestinians killed and Israel continuing to refuse to comply with the ICJ ruling to ensure provision of sufficient humanitarian aid to Palestinians as human-made famine edges closer each day and more people starve to death.

“We echo calls made in the UN Special Rapporteur’s report to ensure that UNRWA is fully funded, and also able to operate across all of Gaza – including in northern Gaza where Israeli authorities are denying entry to UNRWA trucks.

“Helping to prevent genocide also means supporting accountability efforts including the ongoing investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and exercising universal jurisdiction to bring those suspected of crimes under international law to justice. All states and in particular allies of Israel must press Israel to allow the UN Commission of Inquiry and the Special Rapporteur and other independent human rights monitors access to Gaza.

“An enduring ceasefire remains the best way to enforce the ICJ’s provisional measures to prevent genocide and further crimes and civilian suffering. In recent days momentum has gathered around calls to halt the fighting, with the European Council demanding a ceasefire last week and a UN Security Council yesterday adopting a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the remaining two weeks of Ramadan. States must now focus their efforts on making these calls a reality.”