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Israel in the (legal) firing line

It was almost bound to happen.   With the seemingly disproportionate bombardment of Gaza, there are now moves afoot to bring Israel to account for committing war crimes.

"The push to engage the International Criminal Court in an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel for it military attacks on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip is gaining steam among Palestinian political factions as well as members of the international legal community.

On Friday, an international coalition of legal advocacy organizations wrote to the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urging her to initiate an investigation into serious crimes committed by Israeli forces during it ongoing military operation against Palestinians living in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

And on Saturday—as Israeli airstrikes and bombing appeared to intensify once again—Hamas made it known that it will now support an effort by the Palestinian Authority to formally join the ICC."


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"The letter (pdf) lists the following war crimes, and cites supporting factual allegations for each crime:

-willful killing (over 2,000 Palestinians, 80% civilians)

-willfully causing great suffering or serious injury (wounding nearly 10,000 Palestinians, 2,200 children)

-unlawful, wanton and unjustified extensive destruction and appropriation of property (tens of thousands of Palestinians lost homes, severe damage to infrastructure)

-willful deprivation of fair trial rights (450 Palestinians held without charge or trial); -intentional attacks against civilians or civilian objects or humanitarian vehicles, installations and personnel (bombing of numerous schools, UN places of refuge, hospitals, ambulances, mosques)

-intentionally launching unjustified attacks, knowing they will kill or injure civilians, damage civilian objects, or cause long-term and severe damage to the natural environment (use of ‘Dahiya Doctrine’ to apply “disproportionate force” and cause “great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations,” as defined in UN Human Rights Council [Goldstone] Report)"

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