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Documenting genocide: The role of forensic experts and human rights groups in Palestine

By : JD

Jordan Daily – As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue, human rights groups and forensic experts are documenting evidence of war crimes and genocide that have killed about 10,000 Palestinians so far.

In a statement sent to  the Jordan Daily , the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), a non-governmental organisation, held a seminar on Monday to discuss how to gather and preserve forensic evidence on mass killings in Palestine.

The seminar, part of a series on the Palestinian cause and access to justice, featured Robert McNeill, a forensic expert who worked on the Srebrenica genocide case in Bosnia, and Zahi Jaradat, head of the monitoring and documentation department at Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group.

Maria Lubnez, an advisor at ARDD, said documenting evidence was crucial to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law, such as targeting civilians, hospitals and places of worship in Gaza.

McNeill said technology played a major role in documenting crimes, and stressed the importance of different professionals, such as doctors, journalists and relief workers, in collecting and preserving evidence.

He also explained how to deal with temporary graves and identify victims using DNA testing, which he said was vital for prosecuting genocide cases.

Jaradat said Al-Haq relied on forms, testimonies, photographs and medical reports to monitor the situation in Gaza, and reported the use of conventional, prohibited and chemical weapons by Israel.

He said Al-Haq had 150 researchers who prepared field reports with evidence, as well as relying on the reports of doctors and paramedics and their testimonies about injuries, whether injuries with conventional weapons, internationally prohibited weapons, automatic bullets, or chemical weapons.

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