Israel committed crimes against Humanity

The chairperson of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the occupied Palestinian Territory said on the 28th February that ‘Israel soldiers committed gross violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against Humanity’.

What is a war crime? A war crime is an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war. Examples of war crimes ranges from INTENTIONALLY killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, raping (…)

What is crime against Humanity? The phrase ‘crime against humanity’ was first coined internationally in 1915 in a declaration by the governments of France, United Kingdom and Russia against the Turkish government for the massacres of Armenians. But it is worthy to note that the first prosecutions for crimes against humanity happened after the SECOND WORLD WAR before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The charter which established the Nuremberg tribunal defined crimes against humanity as: ‘murder, extermination, enslavement and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population before or during the war (…)

The TOKYO CHARTER of 1946 adopted the same definition of crimes against humanity when establishing the IMT (International Military Tribunal) for the Far East to judge the crimes committed by Japan during the Second World War. The inquiry set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council was requested to investigate possible violations from the beginning of the demonstrations on March 2018 up to December. The President of the inquiry is Santiago Canton and was appointed in September 2018. Mr Santiago Canton is from Argentina. The Commission of Inquiry is composed of three members Sara Hossain of Bangladesh and Khaari Betty of Kenya. It is apposite to note that the commissioners were mandated by the Human Rights Council to ‘investigate all alleged violations and abuses of International humanitarian law and International Human Rights Law in the occupied Palestinian Territory (OCT) including East Jerusalem particularly in the occupied Gaza strip. In the context of the military assaults on the large civilian protests that began on 30th March 2018’

The report said that ‘more than 6000 unarmed demonstrators were shot by military snipers, week after week at the protest sites’. The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities knowing they were clearly recognisable as such’. The report further stated that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli troops killed and injured Palestinians ‘who were neither directly participating in hostilities nor posing an imminent threat’.

The Commission stressed that it got no cooperation from the Israeli government. The Commission is planning to hand over a confidential file to the United Nations Human Rights chief who could then transmit same to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other authorities.

The report clearly stated ‘the international community must take its responsibility and provide International protection for the Palestinian citizens in every inch of occupied Palestine’.

Will we? I fear not!

Pray For Them…