France sued for crimes against humanity over nuclear tests

 

A picture taken in 1971 shows a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll, French Polynesia. (By AFP)

A picture taken in 1971 shows a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll, French Polynesia. (By AFP)

France will be facing the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity over a series of nuclear tests it had been conducting in the South Pacific for some three decades.

A French Polynesian opposition leader said a complaint has already been filed to “hold all the living French presidents accountable for the nuclear tests against,” conducted against Polynesia – French oversees territory in the South Pacific.

“It’s with a great sense of duty and determination that we filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court on October 2 for crimes against humanity,” Oscar Temaru said at the United Nations.

“We owe it to all the people who died from the consequences of nuclear colonialism,” he added.

France carried out 193 out of 210 nuclear tests from 1960 to 1996 in Polynesia.  For decades, it had claimed that the explosions were controlled and clean and denied its responsibility for the health and environmental impacts of the testing.

Back in 2013, declassified documents of the defense ministry however revealed that extent of plutonium fall-out from the tests was kept hidden.

A photo taken in June 2000 shows a part of the atoll of Mururoa, four years after the cessation of French nuclear testing. (By AFP)

According to the documents, plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted.

French daily Le Parisien wrote at the time that the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army.”

French Polynesia with a population of about 290,000 people is best known nowadays for its tourist island of Tahiti, which was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation.

“We see French nuclear tests as no less than the direct result of colonization,” Temaru said, adding the testing was imposed upon the islanders “with the direct threat of imposing military rule if we refused.”

Temaru said France has “ignored and shown contempt” for repeated offers since 2013 to come to the table under supervision of the United Nations.

Earlier this year, French Polynesia’s nuclear test veterans organization, Moruroa e tatou, said only if France increases its compensation efforts 100 times, it will become credible that it takes the problem seriously.

Marking the 52nd anniversary of the first of the weapons tests, the organization said in July that despite confessions from France it was working on compensation for victims of the weapons test, the process was not functioning as it should.

It said France has been considering only four cases this year, while 100 times more cases would have to be dealt with.

thanks to: PressTV

Annunci

80+ INGOs demand accountability for Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators in Gaza strip

PNN/

AIDA, a network of more than 80 INGOs operating in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), on Tuesday condemned Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators at the border of the Gaza Strip on 14 May 2018. So far, 61 Palestinians have been killed, including one medic and eight children, and over 2,700 others have been injured, the majority by live ammunition fired at protesters by Israeli security forces, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The casualties occurred in the context of protests near the fence with Israel.

“Israel’s continued use of lethal and excessive live-ammunition against protestors is not only deplorable, but also in sharp contravention of international law,” said William Bell, Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid.

Monday’s demonstration is a culmination of a sequence of protests organized since 30 March 2018 to mark 70 years since the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. More than 70 % of Gaza’s population are refugees, living under dire circumstances in the besieged Strip.

“The Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster as a result of 11 years of blockade, which has crippled Gaza’s economy and increased aid dependency, with some 84 % dependent on humanitarian assistance, and an unemployment rate which stands at a staggering 45 %. Gaza is an open air prison for 2 million women, men, boys and girls, living under air, sea and land blockade. People are losing hope that the untenable situation they find themselves in will ever be resolved”, said Chris Eijkemans, Country Director for Oxfam in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

Since 30 March, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, and another 12,271 injured, including hundreds of children. In addition, medical personnel and facilities have also come under fire, resulting in the injury of 211 medical staff and damage sustained to 25 ambulances, according to WHO. Hospitals are at the brink of collapse, unable to deal with the vast number of injured as a result of a decade-long blockade and insufficient electricity and medical supplies and equipment. Due to the near impossibility of obtaining a medical referral for surgery outside of the Gaza Strip, 21 Palestinians injured during demonstrations have so far had limb amputations since 30 March.

According to international law, lethal fire may only be used in circumstances where threat to life is imminent. Israeli forces are obliged to exercise restraint and refrain from excessive use of force, and respect Palestinians’ right to life, health and freedom of assembly. Targeting medical personnel is a breach of IHL and is considered a War Crime under the Rome Statute. Preventing injured persons from accessing treatment is a violation of their right to health, and amounts to collective punishment.

AIDA called on third states to condemn Israel’s unlawful killings and to step up their pressure on Israel to immediately halt its practice of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, which runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law, and to lift its unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip. Echoing the words of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, AIDA urges third states to demand independent and credible investigations into the incidents, and for those responsible to be held to account.

Sorgente: 80+ INGOs demand accountability for Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators in Gaza strip – PNN

Sosteniamo la Corte penale internazionale

Prosegue lo sforzo per raccogliere firme sotto l’appello lanciato dalla Rete di solidarietà con il popolo palestinese in Italia e all’estero per sostenere l’impegno della Corte Penale Internazionale che ha iniziato ad indagare sui crimini di Israele commessi con l’attacco a Gaza dell’estate scorsa. In calce i link per firmare e far firmare la petizione e SOTTO l’articolo di Adista che ne accompagnò il lancio.

http://chn.ge/1J5ufi5

English – http://chn.ge/1DrKa5m

Français – chn.ge/1AsnVNE

L’UE SOSTENGA LA PALESTINA
ALLA CORTE PENALE INTERNAZIONALE. UN APPELLO

38011 ROMA-ADISTA. È di pochi giorni fa la notizia che il presidente dell’Autorità nazionale palestinese, Mahmoud Abbas, ha deciso di creare una commissione – guidata dal capo negoziatore dell’Anp, Saeb Erakat – incaricata di supervisionare i casi da presentare presso la Corte penale internazionale (Cpi), a cui lo Stato di Palestina avrà accesso a partire dal prossimo 1° aprile (v. Adista Notizie n. 4/15). Il rischio per lo Stato israeliano è di essere trascinato davanti alla Corte per crimini di guerra e contro l’umanità: ipotesi già al vaglio della Cpi che il 16 gennaio scorso, per bocca della procuratrice capo dell’Aia, Fatou Bensouda, ha annunciato l’apertura di un esame preliminare per verificare la possibilità di procedere contro Israele per i crimini commessi durante l’attacco della scorsa estate contro la Striscia di Gaza.
Un processo prevedibilmente irto di ostacoli – basti pensare alle proteste già manifestate da parte israeliana e statunitense – nel corso del quale la Palestina avrà bisogno di tutto il sostegno possibile. Per questo un nutrito gruppo di intellettuali, giuristi e religiosi ha lanciato un appello all’Alto rappresentante della Politica estera europea, Federica Mogherini; al presidente della Commissione europea, Jean-Claude Juncker; all’Alto rappresentante per i Diritti Umani Ue, Stavros Lambridinis e ai ministri degli Esteri dei Paesi Ue, affinché l’Europa sostenga tale percorso.
«L’impunità di Israele sembra non finire mai», si legge nel testo dell’appello sottoscritto, tra gli altri, da mons. Hilarion Capucci, arcivescovo emerito di Gerusalemme in esilio; Giovanni Franzoni, già abate della basilica di S. Paolo; Domenico Gallo, giudice della Corte Costituzionale; Mairead Maguire, premio Nobel per la pace; Luisa Morgantini, già vicepresidente del Parlamento europeo; nonché dalla Rete Romana di Solidarietà con il Popolo Palestinese e dalla Rete Ebrei contro l’occupazione (è possibile firmare l’appello sul sito http://www.change.org). «Sono trascorsi, infatti, più di 67 anni da quando, prima ancora che l’Onu adottasse nel 1947 la Risoluzione 181 sulla spartizione della Palestina storica e vi fosse, nel 1948, la dichiarazione unilaterale di istituzione dello Stato di Israele, iniziarono in Palestina, ad opera di formazioni paramilitari, poi confluite nell’esercito israeliano, aggressioni armate, espropriazioni, distruzioni, eccidi che portarono alla deportazione e al trasferimento forzato della popolazione». «Nei decenni seguenti – continua l’appello – Israele ha proseguito nelle sue politiche di discriminazione razziale, di apartheid, di espulsione degli abitanti storici e naturali, di espansione territoriale fino ad incamerare circa l’80% della Palestina contro il 55% assegnato dall’Onu. Ciò si è accompagnato ad altri crimini, tra cui la demolizione delle case palestinesi, la repressione violenta, il ricorso sistematico a trattamenti inumani e degradanti, agli omicidi mirati, alla tortura e all’imprigionamento senza processo e senza accusa, anche di minori, fino alle terribili aggressioni punitive su Gaza. Nell’ultima, dell’estate 2014, i morti sono stati più di 2.200, quasi tutti civili e per metà donne e bambini, i feriti oltre 11.000. Sono state distrutte proprietà e abitazioni senza alcuna giustificazione militare, sono stati attaccati intenzionalmente civili ed edifici civili (scuole, rifugi Onu, ospedali, ambulanze, centrali elettriche, infrastrutture, luoghi di culto), sono state usate persone come scudi umani». Il percorso che si è aperto con la decisione di aderire alla Cpi, scrivono ancora i firmatari, è costellato di difficoltà per i palestinesi che «dovranno fronteggiare la rabbia di Israele che, disperatamente, vuole mantenere il proprio regime coloniale e di apartheid» e che, a questo scopo, «ha già messo in atto diverse manovre e minacce, che vanno ben oltre il trattenimento di milioni di dollari provenienti dalle tasse raccolte per conto della Autorità Nazionale Palestinese». Perciò, è l’appello, «tale percorso va sostenuto e incoraggiato, soprattutto da parte degli Stati aderenti alla Cpi, ai quali chiediamo di cooperare pienamente con la stessa. È l’applicazione del diritto – concludono – l’unico strumento che può veramente mettere in discussione l’impunità di Israele e portare giustizia in Palestina». (ingrid colanicchia)

La Palestina aderisce al Tribunale dell’Aja

L’occupazione israeliana dei Territori e i bombardamenti di Gaza. Questi i casi del dossier che i palestinesi presenteranno alla Corte per denunciare le violazioni israeliane. Iniziate le indagini preliminari

L’Autorità nazionale palestinese (Anp) oggi diventa formalmente membro (il 123esimo) della Corte penale internazionale (ICC), quando sono trascorsi due mesi dall’adesione al Trattato di Roma che ha costituito il tribunale con sede all’Aja, Paesi Bassi, dove oggi si tiene la cerimonia ufficiale.

L’obiettivo palestinese è di portare Israele davanti alla Corte per i crimini legati all’occupazione dei Territori palestinesi e all’offensiva militare contro la Striscia di Gaza della scorsa estate. Una mossa a cui Tel Aviv si è fermamente opposta, con provvedimenti duri nei confronti dei palestinesi, come il congelamento dei proventi fiscali: 127 milioni di dollari in entrate fiscali su cui Tel Aviv mantiene il controllo e che non ha consegnato all’Anp, come previsto dagli accordi di Oslo.

I tre mesi di sospensione hanno duramente colpito l’economia palestinese, costringendo a tagliare temporaneamente gli stipendi degli statali, ma hanno anche scatenato un coro di critiche da parte della cosideetta comunità internazionale. Venerdì scorso il governo israeliano ha sbloccato i proventi fiscali sostenendo la necessità di “agire responsabilmente” data la “situazione in Medio Oriente”. Si era diffusa la notizia, data dalla stampa israeliana e smentita dai palestinesi, di un tacito accordo con l’Anp affinché escludesse dalla denuncia all’ICC le violazioni nei Territori occupati. Ma non è questa l’intenzione dei palestinesi.

Jamal Muheisen, membro della segreteria di Fatah, ha sottolineato che “l’attività di colonizzazione è considerata un crimine di guerra secondo il diritto internazionale” e che si farà in modo “ che Israele sia tenuto a risponderne”. Niente accordi sottobanco, dunque. La denuncia presentata al tribunale non si limiterà a Gaza.

Mentre i palestinesi preparano il dossier, l’ICC, come previsto dal suo stesso statuto, ha aperto un’indagine preliminare proprio sugli insediamenti in Cisgiordania e a Gerusalemme est e sui 50 giorni di bombardamenti israeliani a Gaza, che hanno fatto oltre duemila morti e migliaia di feriti. In base ai risultati di questa indagine e alle prove presentate dai palestinesi, il procuratore del tribunale deciderà se procedere o meno con l’indagine.

L’ICC ha giurisdizione su quanto accade negli Stati che hanno aderito, quindi sui Territori palestinesi (Gerusalemme est, Cisgiordania e Gaza) che d’ora in avanti, almeno in teoria, saranno sotto la giurisdizione del tribunale. Inoltre, procede contro le persone in posizione di comando che sono accusate di crimini, non contro gli Stati. Israele non ha aderito alla Corte e ha sempre dichiarato di non volerlo fare.

thanks to: forumpalestina

Nena News

Israeli Extrajudicial Assassinations

by Stephen Lendman

June 1, 2014

They’re willful, premeditated cold-blooded murder. They’re official Israeli policy.
Killers get impunity. Investigations rarely happen. Occasional ones are whitewashed. In May 2007, former Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said:
“We decided to carry out more physical liquidation operations against (Palestinian) ‘terrorists’ “
“I think this will eliminate the damage caused to Israeli territory due to the launching of Palestinian rockets.”
Just cause for murder doesn’t exist. Claiming otherwise rings hollow. International law is clear and unequivocal.
Article 23b of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits “assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy’s head, as well as offering a reward for any enemy ‘dead or alive.’ “
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
UDHR recognizes the “inherent dignity (and) equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.”
The 1980 Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders condemned “the practice of killing and executing political opponents or suspected offenders carried out by armed forces, law enforcement or other governmental agencies or by paramilitary or political groups.”
On December 15, 1980, the General Assembly adopted resolution 35/172.
It urged member states abide by the provisions of Articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.
They cover the right to life and various safeguards. They mandate fair and impartial judicial proceedings.
The 1989 UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions states:
“Governments shall prohibit by law all extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions and shall ensure that any such executions are recognized as offences under their criminal laws, and are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the seriousness of such offenses.”
“Exceptional circumstances, including a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of such executions.”
“(They) shall not be carried out under any circumstances including, but not limited to, situations of internal armed conflict, excessive or illegal use of force by a public official or other person acting in an official capacity or by a person acting at the instigation, or with the consent or acquiescence of such person, and situations in which deaths occur in custody.”
“This prohibition shall prevail over decrees issued by governmental authority.”
These international law principles apply to occupied populations. So does Fourth Geneva.
Its Article 3 affords them special protections. They cover all actions related to “(v)iolence to life and person, murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”
“The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees (is) recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
Article 32 states:
“(T)he High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands.”
“This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents.”
“Article 85 refers to “Grave Breaches.” They’re defined as “(a)cts committed willfully and causing death or serious injury to body or health…”
They subject civilian populations or individuals to “indiscriminate attack(s) affecting (them) or civilian objects…”
The International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute calls these violations war crimes. Under Article 8, they include:
  • “Grave” Geneva Convention breaches;
  • “Willing killing…”
  • “Intentionally launching an attack” knowing it will “cause incidental loss of life…”
  • “Killing or wounding” combatants who’ve laid down their arms;
  • extrajudicial killings; and
  • “Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary…”
On May 31, Haaretz headlined “Israeli military hiding targeted killing investigative panel,” saying:
“The Defense Ministry and Israel Defense Forces recently formed a committee to investigate allegations of war crimes raised after recent targeted aerial strikes against Palestinian militants.”
“The names of panel members, however, were not disclosed.” Officials called doing so too sensitive.
A retired judge heads the panel Other members include a “veteran general, retired Shin Bet commander and an expert (on) international law.”
An IDF spokesman didn’t surprise. No incident reviewed so far was illegal, he said. According to Haaretz:
“Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni publicly commended the establishment of an external body to probe into the legality of targeted killings…”
He “avoided commenting on” member names. He was silent on whether they were to examine claims “about civilian harm.”
Potentially they could constitute crimes of war or against humanity.
The current panel follows two earlier ones. The initial one followed Sheikh Salah Mustafa Shehade’s 2002 assassination.
Fourteen Gazans were killed. In February 2013, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered an “independent military investigative body.”
According to Efroni, “(t)oday we open an investigation for every incident in which a civilian, unaffiliated with insurgent activities, is killed in Judea and Samaria during a (military) operation that is not an official campaign.”
Gaza and neighboring Arab countries policy differs from West Bank practices. Judea and Samaria are largely under Israeli control. Aerial killings aren’t used.
Gaza, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria “operate under the shelter of civilian populations and from within them,” Israel claims.
Doing so justifies the unjustifiable, it says. Aerial killings are standard practice.
Haaretz discussed Israel’s targeted killings code. It listed 10 “partially vacuous” 10 commandments.
(1) Israel claims it’s permissible to attack combatants and anyone called belligerent civilians.
(2) It calls aerial attacks constrained. Civilians killed are called combatants.
(3) Arrests must be considered before ordering targeted killings. Israel says one thing. It does another.
(4) Israel claims it exceeds the proportionality principle. Sometimes aborting attacks. Minimizing collateral damage.
Longstanding Israeli practices are polar opposite duplicitous claims.
(5) “Operational processes” control aerial attacks. “Procedures and standing” orders decide things.
Mumbo jumbo jargon conceals Israeli ruthlessness. Commanders kill without constraint.
So do pilots and rank-and-file soldiers. They’re taught Arabs are violent gun-toting terrorists.
Killing them violates no law. Truth is turned on its head.
(6) Operational planning for preplanned air strikes isn’t practicable “in real time” when threats exist. Israel invents them out of whole cloth.
(7) According to Israel, its military and government officials needing to know are trained in international laws.
Anyone able to read can understand them. Israel spurns them repeatedly. It does what it wants with impunity.
It calls legitimate self-defense terrorism. It claims crimes or war, against humanity and genocide are justified. It turns truth on its head saying so.
(8) According to Israel, military commanders “properly implement the principle of discrimination, the principle of proportionality, and the imperative to take necessary safety precautions, both in relation to the decision to carry out the attack and in the way the attack is to be carried out (e.g. at what time, the kind of weapon used, etc.).”
Military commanders, pilots and rank-and-file soldiers operate without restraint. They do so with impunity. They get away with murder repeatedly.
(9) Israel claims investigations follow war crimes accusations. Virtually always they’re whitewashed. Victims are blamed for Israeli crimes.
(10) According to Haaretz, (t)he 10th commandment deals without detail, with the committee of assassinations.”
Israel calls it “a special test process…(It) was established in accordance with the ruling of the High Court on targeted killings and is an extra-military committee, which looks into the legality of targeted killings.”
The committee’s existence and charter “are beyond” what international law requires, claims Israel.
It’s makeup is kept secret. Doing so reflects its independence as well as legal and operational professionalism, Israel says.
It bears repeating. Israel does what it wants. International law, its own and High Court decisions don’t matter.
Rogue states operate this way. Israel and America are by far the world’s worst.
State terror is standard practice. Anything goes is policy. So is cold-blooded murder.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

thanks to: Uruknet

Taking Israel to the International Criminal Court

The ruling was therefore non-binding; yet despite its purely theoretical nature, the ruling was enough to shine a light on a number of colonialist Israeli policies. Nevertheless, the Palestinians failed to utilize the ICJ ruling adequately to mobilize international public opinion behind their cause. All but ignored, the ruling was almost forgotten within a few months. Today, nine years after that historic ruling, many things have changed.

Palestine is now an internationally recognized state that is qualified to seek membership of such international bodies as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Rome Convention. It is also qualified to activate the ICJ ruling, especially as Israel has not only continued but also intensified its crimes after the ruling was issued. The Palestinians must exploit their new status by asking international bodies to compel Israel to cease construction work on the wall and reverse the measures it has undertaken to Judaize the Palestinian capital of East Jerusalem.

Among the Arab states bordering Israel, only Jordan has joined the ICC. While it is true that many countries chose not to seek membership of the tribunal (including the United States, which fears that its soldiers could be prosecuted for the war crimes they committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and countless other places; besides, the Americans, who believe their country to be a beacon of human rights, considered it beneath themselves to see their commitment to these rights called into question), Arab countries on the whole refused to become members because of their appalling human rights records. Syria for example could have sought ICC membership in order to obtain a resolution condemning Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights and the measures the Jewish state took against the inhabitants of that occupied Syrian territory. But Damascus knew that ICC membership is a two-edged sword. What with its constant violation of the human rights of the Syrian people, Damascus knew that it would have been only a matter of time before it too were censured by the ICC. That was why it did not care to seek membership of the international judicial body.

But there is an exception to this rule. Non-member states are not strictly unaccountable, since they can be referred to the ICC by the Security Council. Yet because of the complexity of relations and interests between the permanent members of the UN Security Council, this could be a very difficult process. The term ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ is no longer legally accurate. The fact that Palestine has acquired the status of a state (albeit in an observer capacity) by a resolution of the UN General Assembly makes it the only UN member state to be completely under occupation; an anomaly if there ever was one.

Yet this was not the only reason why Israel – backed by the United States – sought to obstruct the General Assembly resolution. What Israel really feared was that the Palestinians could ask the ICC to look into the issues of settlements, Judaization, and the racist Separation Wall.

The State of Palestine has yet to seek ICC membership. Some see this as a deliberate policy designed to strengthen the hands of Palestinian negotiators in the U.S.-sponsored peace talks. The Palestinian leadership believes that threatening to seek ICC membership would help the Palestinians pressure Israel into reversing some of its settlement policies and remove the obstructions it has put in the way of resuming peace talks. Clearly, this policy has not worked. Yet some jurists believe that that is not the sole reason why the Palestinians have not sought ICC membership. They point to the violations of Palestinians’ human rights committed by the Palestinian authorities, violations such as torture and extrajudicial detention, which make the Palestinian leadership wary of seeking ICC membership – especially if we take into account that, legally speaking, the Palestinian leadership is responsible for all Palestinian territory including the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza.

It is perfectly feasible that the Palestinians would be subject to constant Israeli complaints should they seek to become ICC members – especially if Israeli citizens were to be harmed by for example Palestinian rockets emanating from Gaza. Israel could exploit Palestinian membership to divert attention away from its own violations by portraying the Palestinians as aggressors. Yet justifications and excuses aside, I believe that it is essential for Palestine to become a member of the ICC.

viaNena News Agency | Taking Israel to the International Criminal Court.

Prosecutor: Palestine could join ICC

TUNIS (Ma’an) — The International Criminal Court head prosecutor believes Palestine qualifies to join the ICC after the UN General Assembly voted to admit the country as a non-member state in November.

Fatou Bensouda made the remarks Thursday at the Transitional Justice and International Justice in the Arab World conference in Tunisia, Palestinian officials who attended it said.

Palestinian justice minister Ali Muhanna attended the conference and handed Bensouda a letter on behalf of the Palestinian government.

The conference included expert opinions in matters of transitional justice and its processes in Arab countries, and the role of International Criminal Court in the region.

thanks to:

Occupied Lives: No child should have to go through this

Occupied Lives: No child should have to go through this

On Sunday, 07 October 2012, at approximately 5.30pm, Israel’s forces launched 2 missiles targeting 2 men on a motorbike as they were passing by Taha Hussain Elementary School in the Al-Brazil neighborhood of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.  Subsequently, 1 of the targeted men died of shrapnel wounds, while the other had one of his legs amputated, according to medical sources.  8 civilian bystanders, including 4 children and 1 woman, were also wounded in the attack.  Israel’s forces often use airstrikes for extra judicial execution of suspected members of armed groups in densely-populated areas of the Gaza Strip.  Israel refers to these as ‘targeted killings’. However, on many occasions such attacks also injure and kill civilians who are in the vicinity of the target.  Sabrin Al-Maqousi (23), and her 2 children, Bisan (1 month) and Nassim (2), were wounded in the attack.  Her cousin, Jehad Al-Qatrous (27), was also wounded in the same attack.

Sabrin lives in Jabalia but she was with her children, visiting her family in Rafah, when the attack happened.  She recalls: “My son Nassim was sitting at the entrance of the house when the missiles were launched.  I rushed to bring him inside and found that he had already been injured by shrapnel.  He just kept saying, “There is some blood on me, there is some blood on me.”  Some people came and put him in a car to take him to hospital.  I was trying to calm my other baby down when I noticed that she was also bleeding from her head.  Both of the children were then rushed to the hospital.  It was only after they left, that I felt a sharp pain in my leg.  I had also been hit by shrapnel, and was bleeding.  My cousin, who lives next door, was also injured, and we were both rushed to hospital in an ambulance.”

The casualties were first taken to Abu-Yousif Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah.  The hospital was overcrowded, so they were all transferred to the European hospital, where they received treatment for their injuries: “They removed the shrapnel from our bodies, and the baby and I were discharged after about 5 hours.  However, Nassim was admitted because his wounds were more serious.  My cousin had shrapnel lodged in his legs.  One piece of shrapnel was removed, but the doctor said that the other one requires surgery.  He also temporarily lost his sense of hearing because one of his ears had been injured.”

Sabrin fears for the safety and security of her children and her entire family.  She is both distressed and worried about future attacks and the consequences for her family and loved ones: “When I came back home, I kept crying.  I woke up several times that night, fearing that something else was going to happen.  I was both angry and sad about what had happened to my family.  We had just come to visit my family and have some fun with them, but we ended up wounded.  My children are not even old enough to understand what happened to them.  Nassim is only aware that he was hurt by Israel’s forces and nothing else beyond that.  He cannot walk around as he used to before, and he is scared.  I am also really scared by what happened and how sudden it was.  What if it had been worse?  Our entire lives would have been changed by it.”

Since the attack, Sabrin says that her constant hope has been for peace and to feel safe once more: “When I saw my children wounded and being taken away, I became psychologically affected.  It was almost as if I wasn’t there.  You only expect such things to happen on TV, but not to you and your family.  I witnessed Operation Cast Lead and I have seen attacks on the tunnels in Rafah, but none of those things scared me as much as seeing my own children hurt.  It is completely unacceptable for children to be wounded in this manner.  I really hope for a change to the situation in Gaza.  Nobody should have to go through this and especially no child should have to go through this.”

The direct targeting of a civilian object constitutes a war crime, as codified in Article 8(2) (b) (ii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  Similarly, under Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the destruction of private property is prohibited unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.  Intentionally launching an indiscriminate attack constitutes a war crime as defined in Article 8 (2) (b) of the Rome Statute of the ICC.  Furthermore, according to the principle of proportionality, which is codified in Article 51 (5) (b) of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions, an attack that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects or a combination thereof is considered excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

Vite sotto occupazione: “Non dovrebbe succedere a nessun bambino”

Il 7 ottobre 2012, attorno alle 17,30, le forze israeliane hanno lanciato due missili contro due uomini in motocicletta, mentre stavano passando davanti alla scuola elementare “Taha Hussain”, nel quartiere al-Brazil, a Rafah, nella Striscia di Gaza meridionale. Uno dei due uomini è morto per le ferite causate dalle schegge; all’altro, invece, secondo fonti mediche, è stata amputata una gamba. Otto passanti, civili, dei quali 4 bambini e una donna, sono rimasti feriti nell’attacco. Le forze israeliane utilizzano spesso, nella sovrappopolata Striscia di Gaza, gli attacchi aerei come forma di esecuzione extragiudiziale di persone sospettate di appartenere a gruppi armati. Israele li chiama “assassinii mirati”, ma molto spesso in tali attacchi vengono feriti o uccisi anche civili che si trovano in zona. Sabrin al-Maqousi, 23 anni, e i suoi due bambini, Bisan di un mese, e Nassim di 2 anni, hanno riportato ferite nell’attacco. Anche il cugino di Sabrin, Jehad al-Qatrous, 27 anni, è stato ferito.

Sabrin vive a Jabalia, ma si trovava a Rafah in visita alla sua famiglia, con i suoi due bambini, al momento del raid. “Mio figlio Nassim”, ricorda, “era seduto all’ingresso di casa quando i missili sono stati lanciati. Mi sono precipitata a prenderlo per portarlo dentro, ma era già stato ferito da schegge. Continuava a dire di avere del sangue addosso. Alcune persone si sono offerte di portarlo all’ospedale in macchina. Nel frattempo, cercando di calmare la piccola Bisan, mi sono accorta che la sua testa sanguinava, così entrambi i miei figli sono stati portati di corsa all’ospedale. Solo dopo la loro partenza per l’ospedale mi sono resa conto di un dolore acuto alla gamba: ero stata colpita da una scheggia anch’io, e stavo sanguinando. Pure mio cugino, che abita accanto alla casa della mia famiglia, era stato ferito, così siamo andati di corsa all’ospedale anche noi, in ambulanza”.

Dapprima i feriti sono stati portati all’ospedale Abu Yusif an-Najjar, a Rafah, che però era sovraffollato. Quindi sono stati portati all’Ospedale Europeo, dove sono stati medicati. “Ci hanno estratto le schegge, e la bimba ed io siamo state dimesse cinque ore più tardi. Nassim è stato invece ricoverato, le sue ferite erano più gravi. A mio cugino è stata estratta una scheggia da una gamba, ma il dottore ha detto che ce n’è un’altra che richiede un intervento chirurgico. Jehad ha anche perso temporaneamente l’udito, essendo stato ferito anche a un orecchio”.

Sabrin teme per la sicurezza e la salute dei suoi figli e della propria famiglia. È angosciata e preoccupata per le conseguenze di eventuali attacchi futuri: “Tornata a casa dall’ospedale ho cominciato a piangere. Mi sono svegliata spesso, quella notte, temendo che potesse succedere qualcos’altro. Ero arrabbiata e triste per quel che ci era accaduto: eravamo appena arrivati a far visita alla mia famiglia, ci stavamo divertendo insieme, e, improvvisamente, siamo stati feriti. I miei bambini non sono nemmeno grandi abbastanza per capire ciò che è loro successo. Nassim sa solo di essere stato ferito dalle Forze israeliane, nient’altro. Non può più andarsene in giro liberamente come prima, ed è spaventato. Anch’io sono spaventata per ciò che è successo, e per come tutto si è svolto così all’improvviso. E se fosse andata a finire peggio? La nostra vita avrebbe potuto cambiare”.

Dal momento dell’attacco, Sabrin dice che la sua speranza costante è sempre stata la pace, e spera di riuscire a sentirsi di nuovo al sicuro. “Quando ho visto i miei bambini venir portati via feriti, sono rimasta psicologicamente colpita. È stato quasi come se io non fossi stata lì. Ti immagini che certe cose possano succedere solo in televisione, e che non capiteranno mai a te e alla tua famiglia. Ho assistito all’operazione Piombo Fuso, e ho visto gli attacchi ai tunnel di Rafah, ma nessuno di quei fatti mi ha spaventata come il vedere i miei bimbi feriti. È del tutto inaccettabile che dei bambini possano venire feriti in questo modo. Spero davvero che la situazione a Gaza possa cambiare. A nessuno dovrebbero capitare cose del genere, soprattutto non a dei bambini”.

Colpire direttamente un obiettivo civile è considerato crimine di guerra dall’articolo 8 (2) (b) (ii) dello Statuto di Roma del Tribunale criminale internazionale. In modo analogo, la distruzione di proprietà privata è proibita dall’articolo 53 della Quarta convenzione di Ginevra, a meno che essa non sia assolutamente necessaria per consentire le operazioni militari. Lanciare un attacco indiscriminato e intenzionale costituisce crimine di guerra, come definito dall’articolo 8 (2) (b) dello Statuto di Roma del Tribunale criminale internazionale. Inoltre, secondo il principio della proporzionalità, codificato nell’articolo 51 (5) (b) del Protocollo aggiuntivo numero 1 alla Convenzione di Ginevra, un attacco che possa prevedibilmente causare perdite accidentali di vite umane, ferimento di civili o danni a obiettivi civili, o una combinazione di essi, è considerato eccessivo relativamente al concreto e diretto vantaggio militare anticipato.

thanks to:

il traduttore Stefano Di Felice