As today marks the one year anniversary of the end of the 2014 Gaza Conflict (which Israel named “Operation Protective Edge”) – we will be posting the United Nations Human Rights investigations of the attacks in multiple parts.
The Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict (whose report is available here) was created to serve a singular purpose, after which it would be completely disbanded: examine the brutal conflict that occurred last summer in Israel and the West Bank, and determine if either party violated the basic human rights of citizens. Considering both parties in the conflict are proponents of the Declaration of Human Rights, any violation in its preservation would also be considered a violation of international law.
The Commission was established in response to the claims of human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the West Bank. While shortly after the report was published many news corporations sought to summarize it arbitrarily, the breadth of the report in detailing every instance of violence and the precepts upon which the ruling was made warrant recognition. But, because we’re millennials, reading the entire report is tedious. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to Sparknote the report for you below, and to use in your next arguments with people who, let’s face it, aren’t going to read the whole thing anyway. We’ve also included reference numbers to the points in the report where we got the information (just to really rub salt in the wounds, if necessary.)
Israel remained largely non-compliant to repeated requests made by the commission, hindering its capability to pass judgement with full knowledge of circumstances surrounding the conflict. [5,18]
The entire summer was given to the government to respond (June 13th, 2014 to August 26th, 2014). 
The group was given limited access into the Gaza by the Jordanian government, and was not allowed to enter Israel at all (interviews were held via Skype with witnesses that were able to make it to Geneva). [4,8]
Israel claims that since it withdrew its troops from the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2005, it is no longer considered an occupying power. Notwithstanding their claims, Israel maintains control of Palestine’s maritime and airtime activities, fishing, and construction plans. Additionally, without an Israeli issued government ID card, travel outside of the OPT is nearly impossible. Thus, Israel still exerts enough force in Gaza for it to be considered an occupying power according to the United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, where it was determined Germany was an OP in Greece based on its “capacity to send troops within a reasonable time to make its power felt.” [27-30]
- The General Assembly, the Red Cross, and the International Criminal Court have all recognized that “Israel has maintained effective control of the Gaza strip.” 
Stay tuned for Part II…
Written by: Kinza H.
Image: Wikimedia Commons