PALESTINIAN officials and human rights activists have sworn to take Israel to the international courts for crimes committed in the last three weeks of violence
Written by Alaa’ Hamad/ Translated to English by PNN
THE recent weeks have seen multiple executions of innocent Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and settlers.
Fadi Alloon 19 , in Jerusalem; Abdul-Rahman Obeidallah, 13, in Bethlehem, Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, in Hebron, and Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 17, also in Hebron, were all shot under the allegation of carrying out stabbing attacks.
But in many cases, videos have shown that Israeli soldiers or settlers threw knives near their bodies, proving they were killed just for being Palestinian.
Palestinian officials are now making preparations to challenge Israel in the international courts.
The Palestinian Minister of Justice, Salim al-Saqqa, told PNN that what is happening on the ground is summary execution.
He said that killing children under 15 years old in cold blood, shows the Israeli Occupation forces motivation is hatred.
“In every case, the problem could have been tackled in other ways than by lethal force,” Saqqa said. “But killing them shows that Israel’s focus is on killing, and on the unnecessary use of excessive force. “
Al-Saqqa added that Israel was breaking international law, especially the 1949 fourth Geneva Convention, which provides humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone.
He said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was now preparing evidence to send to the International Criminal Court.
The authority is also preparing a complaint to the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP).
A spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Waael Batare, said: “All of the ugly aggressive acts by the Israeli army and settlers come from clear decisions made by the right wing government in Israel.
“These crimes are happening whilst the international community is hearing, seeing and watching.
“One of the decisions is allowing settlers to carry weapons and kill directly.”
He added that in many recent incidents, there was damning video evidence.
“This evidence proves that Israel’s government is lying, and show that a lot of incidents could have been solved without the use of lethal force.”
He added that Foreign Affairs Ministry had warned the international community even before the last crisis started, and had told them that Israel were escalating the situation.
He said : “We are facing a right-wing government led by settlers and coalition members who are against the peace process.
“They are against the peace process, against the two state solutions and they don’t recognised the Palestinian right to establish an independent state according to international law and U.N decisions.”
Mr Batare pointed out that Mahmoud Abbas made it clear in his last speech to the UN that Palestinians will adopt popular resistance and diplomatic action to achieve their rights to an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
He had ended his speech by asking the Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry, in co-operation with arabs and muslim countries, in addition to European countries, to vote for a decision to protect the Palestinian people through the security council’s decision.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now following up on the cases that are going to be handed to the ICC.
Mr Batere said that the Ministry was working on many files, which President Abbas would soon be presenting to the High Court to prove that Israel is racist, and is trying to create a racist apartheid regime.
Mustafa Barghouthi, head of the centre-left Palestinian National Initiative political party, said Israel had broken international law by adopting the policy of killing suspects.
He said: “Every Palestinian now risks being killed, and is now in danger,especially in Jerusalem, if any extremist settlers start shouting.
“Think about what is happening – it’s the worst kind of racism and injustice for Palestinian people”
He added that he and the Palestinian Initiative leaders had met with many European representatives to tell them how dangerous the situation is, especially now Israel is dealing this kind of punishment.
He said they had warned Israel was targeting journalists, ambulances, and medical teams and asked their countries to pressure Israel to stop these actions.
He also called for all Palestinians to be united and work together to stop this huge crime that Israel is committing.
He said this meant fighting the Israelis by all means – by diplomatic and popular resistance.
Ammar Dweik, director general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, said: “The Palestinian institutions and international institutions which care about human rights are doing serious work documenting all of these Israeli aggression and breaches of the international law.”
He stressed that it was very important to document all of the Israeli actions because this would facilitate prosecuting the Israeli leaders in the international court.
He added that Palestinian human rights organisations were working together with international defenders of human rights to show the world see the “real face” of Israel.
He warned that the Israeli occupation is trying to trick the rest of the world by claiming to be defending itself and would mount a robust defence in the international court.
He said : “We have to be prepared to on the legal issues and be ready to document all of the aggression and the action on the ground.
“Not all the international judges or courts are sympathetic with the Palestinians, so our cases should be very strong.”
He said it would not be an easy matter to bring Israeli officials before the international court so they must be prepared, because the regulations are lengthy and success is not guaranteed.
Lastly, he said of international law: “It is a good tool but there are some problems with this tool.
“So that’s why we have to be prepared, and that is why we have to know what we are doing.
“Especially against a country like Israel that is protected by the USA.”
He said criticism of Israel killing Palestinians came not just from Palestinians rights institutions, but also Israeli ones.
Bet Selem said in a statement last week that in the last few weeks, we are witnessing Israelis shooting Palestinians only to kill them.
They said many cases could have ended differently.
Other Israeli human rights institutions have also spoken out on political support for settlers and soldiers to shoot the Palestinians, warning it is a message to kill them without a trial.
They have called on the Israeli government to stop its way of dealing with what is happening on the ground and stop collective punishment against Palestinians.
They said it should work for peace and against the occupation, and let Palestinians live freely and with dignity.