Israel Blocking Human Rights Workers’ Access to Gaza

Israel Blocking Human Rights Workers’ Access to GazaIsrael Blocking Human Rights Workers’ Access to Gaza

Access to and from the Gaza Strip for human rights workers is being blocked by the Israeli military, preventing the adequate investigation of war crime allegations, a prominent watchdog stated in a report.

On January 16, 2015, the International Criminal Court prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine and alleged crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory since June 13, 2014.

The examination includes analyzing whether alleged war crimes have been committed and whether national authorities are adequately investigating the claims, Sputnik reported.

“If Israel wants the ICC prosecutor to take seriously its argument that its criminal investigations are adequate, a good first step would be to allow human rights researchers to bring relevant information to light … Impeding the work of human rights groups raises questions not just about the willingness of Israel’s military authorities to conduct genuine investigations, but also their ability to do so,” Sari Bashi, a director at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying by the organization on Sunday.

Israeli Restrictions on Travel to and from Gaza for Human Rights Workers report by Human Rights Watch, released on Sunday, outlines how travel restrictions, even in cases where security services have no claims against individual workers, prevent cooperation between human rights workers and limit access.

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