September 24, 2009 - Updated on January 20, 2016

The truth about the war in “Gaza, the Black Book”

What really happened between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli military offensive called Operation Cast Lead? Did the Israeli armed forces use weapons banned by international treaties? Did they deliberately target civilians? Did Hamas use Gaza’s civilian population as human shields?

Valuable information has been published by Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations and by international NGOs. The media have investigated and so have the United Nations.

The most important extracts from these publications, some of them not previously published in French, have been brought together by Reporters Without Borders in “Gaza, the Black Book.”

A United Nations Human Rights Council fact-finding mission headed by judge Richard Goldstone has just issued a damning report on the war crimes and possible crimes against humanity by both the Israeli military and Hamas militants during the Gaza War. But the war’s direct witnesses must also be heard and a forum must be given to Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists.

In the face of such evidence, the Israeli authorities and Hamas can no longer respond with blanket denials of war crimes and block attempts to carry out international investigations.

The goal of “Gaza, the Black Book” is to help people understand what Gaza’s inhabitants experienced during this three-week war. It also tries to answer the question: Who is responsible for the hundreds of civilian fatalities during the offensive? Establishing the facts is an essential first step towards rendering justice. This “Black Book” aims to help.

Reporters Without Borders and the publishing house La Découverte have already published some ten “Black Books” on such subjects as Algeria, Cuba, China and Iraq. Bringing together eye-witness accounts and analyses and offering recommendations to those who have committed major human rights violations, these books are essential for understanding the world around us.

“Gaza, the Black Book”, 208 pp, 17 euros

In French (English-language version pending)