FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Where’s the Accountability for Israeli War Crimes?

by AUDREY BOMSE and JAMES MARC LEAS

Gaza City.

The Palestinian Authority would be “traitors” if they agreed to a condition the UK is seeking to impose in exchange for agreeing to  support Palestine upgrading its membership in the UN. So said Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) at a meeting with lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in Gaza City today.

The condition is that Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, pledge not to pursue Israeli government and military officials for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. An article in the Guardian yesterday describes the pressure on Abbas to agree to the condition. Sourani said the entire Palestinian public knows that the Palestinian Authority would condemn itself–and that PCHR would make such a public condemnation–if the PA accepted that condition.

The article, “Britain ready to back Palestinian statehood at UN–Mahmoud Abbas pledge not to pursue Israel for war crimes and resumption of peace talks are UK conditions, states, “Whitehall officials said the Palestinians were now being asked to refrain from applying for membership of the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice, which could both be used to pursue war crimes charges or other legal claims against Israel.”

The key problem Sourani sees facing Gaza and the West Bank is no accountability for Israeli war crimes. Israeli political and military leaders know that if a tribunal considers the facts and the applicable international law, the tribunal could rule that Israeli conduct is illegal. Thus, the strong efforts to keep out of tribunals and to continue Israel’s ability to engage in military assaults.

The condition that the UK government is seeking to impose on the Palestinian Authority would guarantee the continued impunity and immunity Israeli officials enjoy. The trauma for Palestinians would would be repeated every few years, said Sourani.

What is needed first is for international law to apply to territories ruled by Israel and for those violating international law to be subject to criminal prosecution, according to PCHR.

PCHR is documenting the facts about violations of human rights. All 1.8 million people in Gaza, including PCHR staff, Sourani said, were traumatized by what they lived through during the 8 days of bombing and in conducting the interviews to prepare files for court.

US lawyers Audrey Bomse and James Marc Leas are in Gaza along with a large number of internationals to help bring the human stories of the bombing of Gaza to a wider public. Israeli forces killed 163 people and wounded over 1200 during its 8-day campaign. They also destroyed many private homes and civilian infrastructure, including government buildings in violation of Israel’s responsibilities as occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention. All this is happening at a time when the US is supplying many of the weapons used. The NLG calls for an end to US military aid to Israel until the Israeli government complies with international law.

Audrey Bomse and James Marc Leas are co-chairs of the NLG Free Palestine Subcommittee

July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail