Israel’s crimes against Palestinians

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THE list of Israeli crimes against Palestinians is long and unending, and spans over many decades. Finally there is a ray of hope that the international law which has failed Palestinians for more than seventy years, may ultimately deliver, even if it is only a small measures of justice.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday ruled that it has jurisdiction over war crimes or atrocities committed in Palestinian territories, paving the way for a criminal investigation despite Israeli objections. The decision on the part of ICC is indeed significant one and offers victims of serious crimes some real hope for justice. There is no denying that over the years, Israel has been the recalcitrant, aggressive party that lacks flexibility and this is the main reason that not only was a peace agreement never reached but initial discussions never even got underway. Construction of illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land, the lethal use of force and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians who posed no imminent threat to life and the transfer of Israeli citizens to occupied land are all inadmissible under international law and tantamount to war crimes. Israel backed by the US will continue its overt and covert campaign to intimidate the ICC and any other entity that aims to expose its war crimes and try Israeli war criminals.

However, it is high time that the Israeli perpetrators of the gravest abuses face justice. An investigation, in itself represents an indictment of sorts but those committed brutalities against Palestinians must be indicted for war crimes and given punishment as per the law, and the process towards that end must be expedited. There should be no hypocrisy on the matter of protection of human rights and the world must not only censure but also impose sanctions against Israelis who committed the serious crimes against Palestinians. Responsibility also rests with the international community to pressurize Israel to move towards the two-state solution as it is the only way to ensure durable peace in the Middle East.