December 23, 2023, New York – Hours after the U.S. abstained on a United Nations Security Council resolution that it had delayed for days seeking to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza, Palestinian organizations and individuals filed a reply last night to the U.S. government’s response to their genocide case, Defense for Children International-Palestine v. Biden. The filing supports the Palestinian plaintiffs’ request that the court immediately order the U.S. to stop supporting Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and opposes the government’s efforts to have the case dismissed.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel Van Der Hout LLP submitted detailed, sobering declarations from several of the plaintiffs (linked below) and from Josh Paul, the former high-ranking State Department official who resigned to protest U.S. support for and continued transfer of arms to Israel that would be used to commit human rights abuses and lead to significant civilian casualties in Gaza. The plaintiffs’ declarations describe additional harms and deaths – including at least 50 members of Al Haq’s Ahmed Abofoul’s extended family – suffered since they filed their complaint in mid-November, underscoring the need for an immediate injunction.
(Washington D.C., December 20, 2023) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor should investigate as suspects for war crimes and crimes against humanity the senior Israeli commanders (“Prime Suspects: Who’s Running Israel’s War in Gaza”) identified by Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).
DAWN submitted to ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC the list of 40 Israeli military commanders who have taken part in, or who have direct command responsibility over operations that likely comprise indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilians, the use of starvation as a weapon, blocking humanitarian aid, and the imposition of the siege on Gaza. DAWN submitted this information in response to the Prosecutor’s November 17 call for parties to present to his office information relevant to its investigation team’s ongoing probe into violations of the Rome Statute in Palestine, including the current war in Gaza.
It is with great urgency that we, the undersigned Palestinian civil society organisations, address this letter to the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu and the Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, George Okoth-Obbo, with regards to Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including and especially in the Gaza Strip. We alarmingly take note of the statement of Ms Nderitu issued on 15 October 2023, as further elaborated below, which has not alerted the international community to the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people. We urge you to take all measures at your disposal, as required by your mandate, to prevent the unfolding genocide in Gaza, including by mobilising the international community, particularly Third States, to uphold their legal obligations and urgently intervene for this end.
… we are also deeply alarmed by the analysis, approach and rhetoric expressed in the sole statement you issued on 15 October 2023, Ms Nderitu. Failing to contextualise seventy-five years of oppression and domination by the State of Israel over the Palestinian people as a whole, the statement exclusively placed the onus of condemnation on Palestinian armed groups. Excluding any condemnation of Israel’s actions in Gaza—despite the fact that at the time the Israeli senior leadership had already made several statements inciting genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza and that at least 2,000 Palestinians had already been killed as of 15 October 2023—reveals two truths: first, that the international political double-standards penetrated the UN system inadvertently; second, that the UN and your mandate remain oblivious to the root causes of the Palestinian struggle: decades of Israel’s settler-colonialism, apartheid, and occupation. This, in combination with the failure to acknowledge Israel’s sixteen-year blockade and closure of Gaza—an illegal form of collective punishment, an act of persecution and apartheid, and a potential act of genocide— signifies that your statement utterly failed to properly contextualise the operation that took place on 7 October 2023.
We would also like to remind both your respective mandates Ms Nderitu and Mr Okoth-Obbo, that in July 2014, your predecessors issued a public warning in response to Israel’s conduct against the protected Palestinian population which was accompanied by inciteful and dehumanising language against them. We are deeply alarmed that at this point, with stronger evidence and a significantly more desperate and severe humanitarian situation in terms of human suffering than in 2014, you have not issued a single statement publicly condemning Israel’s genocidal rhetoric, along with the continued infliction of atrocities on the Palestinian population of Gaza.
we call on your respective mandates, as Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Ms Nderitu and Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, Mr Okoth-Obbo, to:
- 1. Acknowledge and publicly recognise that Israel’s conduct in the Gaza Strip is tantamount to an unfolding genocide; condemn the genocidal rhetoric of Israeli officials, which has increased in the past weeks, and remind the international community of the danger such rhetoric carries;
- 2. Condemn the accompanying atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza and the resulting massive loss of civilian life and destruction of civilian infrastructure;
- 3. Call on Third States to act in line with their obligations under the Genocide Convention, in the face of a serious risk that Israeli occupying forces are perpetrating genocidal conduct against Palestinians in Gaza, by unilaterally and collectively taking all feasible action to urgently and definitively ensure that Israel refrains from further incitement to genocide and from the perpetration of conduct prohibited under Article II of the Convention;
- 4. Call upon the competent organs of the UN (including the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the International Court of Justice) to take the necessary action under the UN Charter to prevent and suppress acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III of the Convention;
- 5. Call on Third States to investigate, arrest and prosecute persons on their territory or nationals who may have committed or contributed to acts of genocide against the Palestinian people; and
- 6. Call upon States to take all available measures to avoid complicity in Israeli conduct through the provision of materials, arms, economic and diplomatic support to a regime responsible for ongoing and persistent widespread and systematic violence and abuse of the Palestinian population amounting to genocide.
Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22282.html
Three Palestinian rights groups have filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging the body to investigate Israel for “apartheid” as well as “genocide” and issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, called for “urgent attention to the continuous barrage of Israeli airstrikes on densely populated civilian areas within the Gaza Strip”, which have killed more than 10,500 Palestinians, almost half of them children, according to Gaza health officials.
… The three groups want arrest warrants to be issued against Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.
The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) opened an official investigation into the situation in Palestine in 2021 after determining that “war crimes have been or are being committed by Palestinian and Israeli actors in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”.
That was also the plea from Lafi Adeeb, the mayor of Turmus Aya, after settlers set fire to more than 30 homes in the town, attempting to burn families alive.
“This is genocide, this is a war against us. Settlers carrying weapons and canisters full of fuel attack our small village and set fire to houses over the heads of their inhabitants,” Adeeb told the publication Middle East Eye.
“The attack was large and organized, with full protection and coordination with the Israeli army, which is working against us and protecting them,” Adeeb added.
I was an International Solidarity Movement activist in Jenin camp in 2002 when an Israeli soldier, who realized I was American, said to me, “You did this to the American Indians. What are you complaining about?” admitting Israel’s intention to follow American precedent and continue to expand, take over the whole West Bank, never end the occupation, and never allow for a sovereign, viable Palestinian state and a two-state solution. I told the soldier he was right about America’s crimes, and I was here as an activist to try to prevent the repetition of those same crimes of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and slow genocide.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan announced that “Israel will not take part” in the UN Security Council session regarding the Palestinian issue, alleging “extreme bias” at a time when “Israel” continues its systematic genocide of the Palestinian people. Before he left the room, Erdan claimed, “If this council refuses to respect their [fallen soldiers] memory, I will dedicate this speech to their memory. I light this candle, Mr. President, to honor them, and may their memory be blessed. I’m sorry, but I refuse to spend this sacred day listening to lies and condemnation. This debate disgraces the fallen, and Israel will not take part in it.”
Supporting the recent pogrom by fascist Jewish-Israeli militias against Palestinians in Huwara near Nablus in the occupied Palestinian territory and overtly inciting state terrorism, senior Israeli government minister, Bezalel Smotrich, a self-declared “fascist,” said, “I think Huwara needs to be erased. The state should be the one to do that.” Smotrich, however, is not the first Israeli leader to publicly embrace or threaten genocidal acts against Indigenous Palestinians. Labor Party leader Matan Vilnai in 2008 threatened Palestinians with “a bigger shoah [Holocaust]” if resistance groups did not stop their armed retaliation to Israel’s criminal siege and violent attacks on Gaza. A recent error by Israel’s censors accidentally has revealed secret documents exposing David Ben Gurion’s support for “wiping out” Palestinian villages during the 1948 Nakba, with a minister in his first government admitting, “Let us say that instances of rape occurred in [the ethnically cleansed Palestinian city] Ramle. I can forgive instances of rape, but I will not forgive other acts,” such as forcibly removing “jewelry from women.”
Continue reading at https://bdsmovement.net/israels-new-far-right-government-analysis
Facing the entrance to the Fairmont Hotel, over 125 students and community members gathered on Saturday in downtown Austin to demand the shutdown of the Israeli-American Council National Summit. The annual IAC Summit was held this year to celebrate “Israel’s 75th birthday”… Protesters gathered on 2nd St. at Sir Swante Neighborhood Park, chanting and holding signs which read “Free Palestine” and “#ShutDownIAC.” The protest was organized by Shut Down IAC, a campaign led by UT student organization Palestine Solidarity Committee in conjunction with other pro-Palestine groups from across the state.
Organizers from Shut Down IAC also said that they protested the Summit because it normalized Israeli occupation and falsely presented the Israeli state as progressive and peaceful. “They cover up their war crimes through tactics known as rainbow washing in order to appeal to liberals and progressives,” said a member of PSC during a speech. “They’re rebranding a country founded upon the genocide of Palestinians as a welcoming place for all people.”