February 22, 2024
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Devant le Tribunal Pénal international – Lalit dénonce Israël pour génocide et apartheid !

Lalit, le  seul parti local  à dénoncer les exactions d’Israël contre les Palestiniens, a soumis une plainte à la Cour internationale des Nations Unies. Trois de ses membres appellent l’ONU  « for an investigation into the Israeli State for genocide and for crimes against humanity. “In our lifetimes, we have never seen a genocide unfurl in this announced and public way”, soutient Alain Ah Vee,porte-parole du parti.

De ce fait, ils demandent au prosécuteur Karim Khan d’enquêter sur le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanhyahou, son ministre de la Défense et le président Israélien Herzog pour les crimes perpétrés contre le peuple Palestinien à Gaza. Un mandat d’arrêt doit aussi être lancé contre eux. Dans leur plainte, les membres de Lalit estiment qu’Israël a démontré son intention de commettre un génocide, incluant l’assassinat, les blessures et d’autres conditions visant à détruire les Palestiniens. Cela relève donc du crime contre l’humanité, qui inclut aussi le déplacement forcé de la population de Gaza.

Lalit rappelle que tout Etat peut traîner un autre Etat devant le Tribunal Pénal international. Cinq Etats l’ont fait. A savoir l’Afrique du Sud, la Bolivie, le Bangladesh, les Comores et Djibouti. En même temps, trois organisations palestiniennes ont entré une plainte devant la même instance pour enquêter sur Israël pour délit d’apartheid et de génocide, et de lancer des mandats d’arrêts. Ces organisations sont  Al-Haq, Al-Mezan et le  Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Les trois membres de Lalit sont Ragini Kistnasamy, Lindsey Collen et Alain Ah-Vee. Ah-Vee et Kistnasamy ont par ailleurs déjà visité les territoires occupées en trois fois, en 2004 et 2009.Ils voulurent entrer à Gaza, mais ne purent le faire à l’époque. Rappelons que Lalit milite pour les Palestiniens, et pour la reconnaissance d’un Etat Palestinien depuis 1978.Le Tribunal Pénal international leur a déjà fait savoir que leur plainte a été reçue. En voici la teneur :

Dear Prosecutor Khan,

It should be noted that the Gaza Strip, where Israel committed these crimes, is 25 miles long and 3.7-7.5 miles wide, and it is densely populated by 2.3 million people, half of which are children.

I ask that you issue arrest warrants expeditiously for those suspected of these crimes within the Israeli political, military, and administrative apparatus, especially President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and others.

The intent to commit genocide has been made clear by Israeli officials, notably:

Isaac Herzog, Israeli President, October 13 2023, suggests that civilians in Gaza are legitimate targets: “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true, this rhetoric about civilians were not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, October 27 2023, in his press briefing cites a biblical reference to Amalek: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you says our Holy Bible. We do remember. And we are fighting.” The verse in reference, 1 Samuel 15:3, states, “Now go and smite Amalek, utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

Yoav Gallant, Israeli Defence Minister, on October 9 2023, in reference to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) strategy in Gaza: “There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

The acts of genocide and incitement to genocide committed by the Israeli government and military which are highlighted in this letter defined under Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the ICC include:

(a) Killing members of the group;

According to the Ministry of Health, since October 7, 11,255 were murdered by Israel in the Gaza Strip, including 4,630 children, 3,130 women, and 682 elderly as of November 14.

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), the World Health Organizations (WHO), and the Palestinian government, 278 educational facilities and 69 places of worship have been damaged or destroyed as of November 7.

According to the media office of Gaza’s government, since October 7, about 32,000 tons of explosives have been dropped on Gaza as of November 10.

According to the Ministry of Health, since October 7, 29,000 were injured by Israel in the Gaza Strip, 3,250 are missing and believed dead under the rubble, including 1,700 children as of November 14.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

According to OCHA, WHO, and the Palestinian government, 270 healthcare facilities have been damaged or destroyed as of November 7.

According to the media office of Gaza’s government, since October 7, about 40,000 housing units, 50%, in the Gaza Strip were destroyed by Israel’s army as of November 10.

Since October 7, Israel cut off supplies of food, water, electricity, and fuel to the Gaza Strip, a territory of about 2.3 million people, which lead to shortages and dehydration and starvation related deaths and illnesses.

The acts of crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli government and military which are highlighted in this letter defined under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC include:

(a) Murder;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

According to OCHA, since October 7, an estimated 1.65 million people, out of around 2.3 million in Gaza, have been displaced from their homes as they are forced to flee Israeli bombardment, as of November 15.

The war crimes committed by the Israeli government and military which are highlighted in this letter defined under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the ICC include:

(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:

Palestinian population in Gaza has been under siege, victims of the crime of collective punishment.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), despite Israel’s claims on November 5, of “Hamas’ cynical use of hospitals,” no evidence has substantiated this claim or justifies depriving hospitals of their protected status under international law.

HRW reports that Israel’s repeated attacks on healthcare facilities have devastated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,

Israeli forces struck the Indonesian Hospital multiple times since October 7, killing civilians,

The International Eye Care Center was destroyed after an attack on October 10 or 11,

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital was forced to close on November 1 due to a lack of fuel for hospital generators after Israel struck the compound of the hospital on October 30 and 31,

Multiple Israeli strikes damaged al-Quds hospital and injured civilians,

On November 3, at least a dozen civilians, including children, were killed or injured outside al-Shifa hospital when Israeli forces struck well-marked ambulances.

WHO reported that as of November 10, Israel is responsible for the forcible closure of 18 out of 36 hospitals and 46 out of 72 primary care clinics due to damages and lack of fuel.

Israel has repeatedly targeted schools, including UN schools marked by UN flags, since October 7

On November 4, Israel struck Osama bin Zaid School, which was sheltering displaced families, murdering at least 20 people.

On November 4, an Israeli missile struck UN-run al-Fakhoora school, where thousands of displaced people were seeking refuge from Israel’s bombardment, killing at least 15 people and injuring 54.

On November 10, 25-50 civilians were murdered by an Israeli airstrike on al-Buraq School in Gaza City.

On October 31 and November 1, Israel attacked Jabalia refugee camp, leveling apartment buildings and killing 50 people and injuring 150 more.

HRW reported Israel using white phosphorus on October 10 in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

This letter includes more than enough evidence of actions by the Israeli military and its officials which fit the criteria of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, as defined by Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, respectively. I urge you to investigate these crimes and bring justice to their victims in the besieged Gaza Strip. UN officials, humanitarian organizations, Palestinian organizations, and other world leaders, have made this same call, and it is imperative the ICC responds accordingly and with justice, immediately.

Towards Peace,

[Signature]

Three different submissions signed: Ragini Kistnasamy, Lindsey Collen, Alain Ah Vee. All three have confirmation of receipt. Our members say it was not easy to submit because there are so many people submitting similar complaints calling for investigations against Israel, and the ICC website seems to get overloaded. The submissions have been co-ordinated by the organization, Code Pink, Women for Peace while Human Rights Watch has written an Open Letter to the ICC, as a formal complaint.

If anyone else wishes to stand up and be counted, please do also submit a complaint. You can go direct to the ICC site. You just draft your letter of argumentation ready to paste in and fill in the ICC form, and submit it. Or you can GOOGLE “Letter to ICC on Gaza”, then scroll down until the Code Pink entry under this “string of words”, and click on it. They will guide you through.

Sedley Assonne

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