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In Photos:
'Justice delayed is justice denied'

Oct. 4, 2009 5:46 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 4, 2009 7:10 P.M.)
Click to view more photos of Israel's assault on Gaza.

Fares Hamouda, a young Palestinian boy, was killed on 11 January 2009, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, a three-week offensive against the Gaza Strip. Here, Hamouda’s body appears in the morgue in Gaza’s Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

According to human rights groups, more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the three-week onslaught, the majority of them women and children, raising serious concerns that Israel violated the laws of war by failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets.

Last Thursday the Palestinian mission to the United Nations in Geneva buckled to international pressure and dropped its endorsement of the report of Justice Richard Goldstone’s Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict. This decision to reverse course, reportedly made by President Mahmoud Abbas himself, means that no international action will be made on Goldstone’s findings until next year.

On Saturday a coalition of 16 human rights organizations made the following statement denouncing the Palestinian leadership for this decision:

Justice delayed is justice denied. All victims have a legitimate right to an effective judicial remedy, and the equal protection of the law. These rights are universal: they are not subject to political considerations. In the nine months since Operation Cast Lead, no effective judicial investigations have been conducted into the conflict. Impunity prevails. In such situations, international law demands recourse to international judicial mechanisms. Victims’ rights must be upheld. Those responsible must be held to account.
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