HomeFitnessTurkish rights body raises Gaza's voice worldwide with new report

Turkish rights body raises Gaza’s voice worldwide with new report

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Türkiye expands its struggle to restore the rights of Palestinians and end the Israeli oppression in Gaza through more initiatives. In the sixth month of Israel’s brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip, a new report on the situation in the Palestinian enclave shed light on the plight of innocent Palestinians. The country’s chief ombudsman said the report, dispatched worldwide, aims to serve as evidence in the prosecution of those responsible for “massacre, war crimes and genocide,” with ambassadors from numerous countries already asking for appointments to discuss its contents.

The document, titled “Gaza: A Special Report on the Catastrophe of Humanity,” was prepared by Türkiye’s Ombudsman Institution and introduced at Parliament last week. It has now been sent to other legislatures, as well as international institutions and organizations including the U.N. Security Council, European Parliament, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) earlier this week, Chief Ombudsman Şeref Malkoç underlined the importance of the report documenting the “genocide” that Israel has waged in Gaza since Oct. 7, adding that copies were distributed to the representatives of nearly 200 countries at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) on March 1-3. “I believe that this report will be used as evidence in courts where those responsible for the massacre, war crimes and genocide in Gaza will be tried,” Malkoç said.

Since the report was made public, ambassadors from many countries have asked for appointments to discuss its contents, he noted. “South Africa’s ambassador said they would forward the report to their president to be sent to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).” “In addition, a team headed by our ombudsman, Fatma Benli Yalçın, sent the report electronically to all human rights defenders, ombudsman institutions, other countries’ parliamentary human rights commissions and judgment institutions worldwide.”

“Since Oct. 7, Gaza has turned into the world’s largest children’s cemetery,” the official lamented. There is no other example in the world of the massacre unfolding in Gaza, he said, adding: “They dropped bombs on Gaza three times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” “Nearly 70,000 tons of bombs,” he stressed. Criticizing the United States and many European nations for maintaining their support for Israel, Malkoç also pointed out that millions around the world “who have a conscience and value human dignity are taking to the streets” to protest Israel’s onslaught. With the events in Gaza, the international system set up by Europe and the U.S. after World War II has collapsed, along with all their theories and jurisprudence on human rights, he asserted.

Arguing that the world needs a new breath of fresh air on human rights thinking, Malkoç said: “Our president’s (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) statement that, ‘the world is bigger than five,’ and the fact that it is gaining attention all over the world is the most concrete indicator of this.” He was referring to Erdoğan’s oft-repeated slogan for U.N. reform, “The world is bigger than five,” pointing to the unrepresentative nature of the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent, veto-wielding members. “After Oct. 7, the law on human rights in Gaza, Palestine and the world will be reconsidered,” said Malkoç. “In Türkiye, human rights institutions like us have a great responsibility. We have prepared this report to fulfill this responsibility.”

Stop massacre of women, children

Calling attention to the suffering of women and children in Gaza since Oct. 7, Ombudswoman Yalçın underlined that Israel has been committing genocide in Gaza over the past five months. She noted that according to the U.N. Population Fund, pregnant women face the risk of miscarriage at rates of up to 300% as they have no access to hospital care. Yalçın pointed out that the 50,000 women who were pregnant in Gaza on Oct. 7 could not “give birth in a healthy way” amid the lack of food and clean water, with many among the 2 million displaced since the offensive began. The official further said: “That is why there are so many child deaths. There are even many reports of women going through c-sections without anesthesia,” said the official. “Things are getting much worse for women in Gaza,” she warned. “This March 8, we need to proclaim this to the whole world.”

Yalçın emphasized that the number of women killed in Gaza has exceeded 7,500 and urged women’s organizations around the world to raise their voices on International Women’s Day to say: “Stop the massacre of women and children in Gaza.” “We have prepared a brochure on what being a woman is like in Gaza and we will present it at the Commission on the Status of Women to be held at the U.N.,” she said, adding that Parliament’s Committee on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men would also take part in this presentation. Stating that women and children have been targeted and killed by Israeli snipers in Gaza, she said the Ombudsman Institution’s report documents this and other aspects of the situation in the besieged territory.

She also underlined that what is happening in Gaza is the result of Israel’s impunity. “If the world does not oppose this with a louder voice, if Palestine is not recognized as an independent state in the U.N., if an immediate cease-fire is not achieved, all the rights violations taking place in the world will become crimes in which governments worldwide are complicit,” she warned. She said only the “existing cases” have been used in the report to document the genocide.

Yalçın pointed out that more than a thousand children have had their arms and legs amputated in Gaza, mentioning that children were operated on without anesthesia due to Israeli attacks on hospitals. “Every day in Gaza, 10 children’s arms and legs are amputated without anesthesia,” she said. “On March 8, everyone who thinks about Gaza should ask themselves the question, ‘What would I do if I were the mother of that child?”

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023. More than 30,700 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 72,000 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has also been using hunger as a weapon by imposing a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation. The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the U.N.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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