For Immediate Release
Green Party Urges Int'l Criminal Court to Probe Israel's War on Palestinians
WASHINGTON - The Green Party has endorsed a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was drafted by the party's Peace Action Committee. The letter, which is appended below, outlines the history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and requests that alleged war crimes by Israel that have been reported since June 2014 be investigated by the ICC.
The ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine on January 16, 2015.
The letter also requests the ICC to investigate the reports of 150 illegal settlements on private Palestinian property in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank housing 750,000 Israelis, in violation of UN Security Resolution 242.
"The purpose of the letter is to call attention to the crimes against humanity, including genocide, that have been committed by Israel against the Palestinians and to finally hold Israel accountable for decades of war crimes. Before we personally deliver the letter to the ICC in November, we expect to gather hundreds of signatures from Green Parties across the United States and around the world, as well as peace and justice organizations. The Green Party of the United States supports a foreign policy based on adherence to international law and diplomacy. We also support the Palestinians' Right of Return" said Margaret Flowers, MD, Green Party co-chair.
September 12, 2018
The Right Honorable Ms. Fatou Bensouda
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM, The
Re: Israeli War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
Dear Madame Prosecutor:
We, the undersigned, are crying out in unison with all people of conscience and compassion for the ICC to use its momentous authority to establish and preserve peace and justice throughout the world, most urgently for the oppressed and besieged people of Palestine. We, therefore, implore you to institute a full investigation in relation to the preliminary inquiry opened in 2015.
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We agree with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki who told reporters at the ICC in The Hague on May 22, 2018 that the evidence against the Israelis was "insurmountable." Maliki said his request to move beyond a preliminary inquiry would give prosecutors the authority to investigate alleged crimes starting in 2014 the recent deaths during the protests in Gaza. When Palestine was recognized as a State in 2012 by the UN General Assembly, the ICC was given jurisdiction over crimes committed in their homeland, however, not before June, 2014.
Although the Court cannot investigate crimes committed before 2014, historical events set the stage for the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The arbitrary UN Partition Resolution of 1947 arrogated 56% of Palestinian land to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish State. The Palestinians naturally rejected the resolution because it did not include any provisions for their civil or human rights. The newly anointed Israelis knew they would have to take the appropriated land by force, so they prepared well for the initial onslaught. Palestinians call that first invasion the "Nakba" or Catastrophe, which resulted in ethnic cleansing. Zionist militias brutally raped and molested women and girls; slaughtered men, women and children; sacked 500 villages; and drove out 750,000 Arab and Muslim human beings from their homes, property and livelihoods.
The quality of life for Palestinians has been poor, with little peace or stability since 1947. The wealthy, U.S.-backed, and nuclear-armed Israelis have fought war after war for supremacy and the acquisition of more and more land, while the Palestinians have defended themselves mostly with rocks, burning kites, balloons and tires, homemade rockets and starkly tragic human suicide bombers. For 70 years they have: suffered the most appalling living conditions imposed upon them by the military occupation and apartheid rule; peacefully resisted the unabated illegal settlements upon their land (at least 80% has been seized since the Nakba); withstood the blockade of Gaza and survived genocidal assaults. Since 1947 the Palestinians have steadfastly and peacefully fought for their safety, dignity, freedoms and Right of Return proclaimed by the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed in 1948. The Right of Return, to include damages and compensation, was deemed their inalienable right in Resolution 3236 passed in 1974.
Nevertheless, we understand that only alleged crimes that have been reported since June of 2014 may be investigated by the ICC starting with Operation Protective Edge launched on July 8, 2014 against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. By August 25th the IDF had killed 2,076 Palestinians including 525 children. In all 10,224 were injured and Gaza was left in ruins. One teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was abducted and burned alive.
Since March 30, 2018, at the heavily blockaded Gaza border, IDF snipers have used live fire and tear gas, a chemical weapon banned in warfare, on Palestinians peacefully protesting on a weekly basis for their Right of Return. As of August 17, 2018 records indicate that more than 18,000 have been seriously injured and at least 166 killed. On June 13, 2018 the UN General Assembly adopted a draft resolution condemning the use of excessive force by Israeli troops on the Palestinian civilians during the protests.
Lastly, we request the Court investigate the reports of 150 illegal settlements on private Palestinian property in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank housing 750,000 Israelis. It is our understanding that these settlements are in violation of the UN Security Resolution 242.
Thank you for your consideration of our most sincere and urgent request.
Peace and best wishes,
The Green Party of the United States
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