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Statement: Al-Haq Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit

Home / Statement: Al-Haq Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit

January 12, 2024

We regret to inform you that there are delays in completing our exhibition “They are Shooting at Our Shadows”. Although it is open, with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences building out the space as we requested, the exhibition is incomplete as a direct result of the ongoing unprecedented atrocities and the Israeli military aggression on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Our people are witnessing catastrophic levels of destruction and loss of life, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 

This exhibition was initially curated to give special focus to the ongoing Israeli raids in the West Bank city of Jenin-–particularly the July 3, 2023 military attack on the Jenin Refugee Camp that heralded a new hyper-militarized approach to the suppression and eradication of Palestinians by Israeli occupying forces. In this body of work, we highlight a selection of pivotal events in the Israeli regime’s ongoing campaign to censor human rights defenders and suffocate human rights organizations––including our own. 

However, since October 7, 2023, the current military aggression means that Al-Haq’s field researchers in Gaza have been forcibly displaced from their homes multiple times, and for the first time in Al-Haq’s 44-year history, our teams on the ground are unable to document violations in the traditional ways we used in the past. 

Under the present conditions, we not only find ourselves in a particularly precarious and imperiled state but also have felt compelled to rethink the scope of the exhibition to respond to the devastation to which we are bearing witness. The Israeli aggression on Gaza has resulted so far in the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, predominantly women and children, as well as the destruction and damage of hundreds of thousands of homes and vital forms of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, universities, bakeries, water and electrical facilities, and communication grids. Juxtaposed with the dehumanizing and statements of intent delivered by Israeli officials, these criminal acts qualify as the crime of genocide, which falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

As a result, we have had to divert additional resources to support our staff, document and analyze incidents and patterns of destruction within the ongoing Israeli offensive, and prepare reports for legal fora. The ongoing military campaign makes our intervention with this exhibition all the more urgent, and as a result, we feel it is particularly important to be able to present additional work addressing the systematic targeting of civilian infrastructure since the 7th of October and its devastating effects on the lives of the Palestinian People.

In this pivotal moment in our history, we extend an invitation to you to join us in solidarity with the Palestinian People as they march towards liberation. 

In solidarity and thanks,

Al-Haq’s Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit

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