ICC urged to end Israel’s ‘devastating impunity’, as war crimes probe includes Abu Akleh

People gather to protest the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 14 May 2022

Palestinian journalists are being systematically targeted by Israel because of the “gift of impunity” granted to the Apartheid State, a press conference in London was told today in the wake of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh.

Convened by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), lawyers working on an existing case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israel announced that they will add the killing Abu Akleh to the complaint issued in April.

Lawyers from Doughty Street Chambers and Bindmans LLP, along with representatives from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the ICJP, spoke about Israel’s systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists and the ongoing legal battle to bring prosecution against the Occupation State.

The same group of lawyers and unions submitted a formal complaint to the ICC accusing Israel of systematically targeting journalists working in Palestine and failing to properly investigate killings of media workers, which amount to war crimes. The ICC recognised, in a February 2021 ruling, that it has jurisdiction over the situation in occupied Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem. This has paved the way for legal prosecution to be brought against Israel over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

WATCH: Press conference to announce sending Shireen Abu Akleh’s case to ICC

The complaint details the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists on behalf of four named victims – Ahmed Abu HusseinYaser MurtajaMuath Amarneh and Nedal Eshtayeh – who were killed or maimed by Israeli snipers while covering demonstrations in Gaza. All were wearing clearly marked PRESS vests at the time they were shot.

The complaint also highlights the targeting of media and bombing of the Al-Shorouk and Al-Jawhara Towers in Gaza City in May 2021, including the cases of Alam News, Al Hayat Newspapers, Mayadeen Media, Al Bawaba 24 and others. Complaints have also formally been submitted to the UN Special Rapporteurs (UNSR) setting out how the systematic targeting of journalists working in Palestine, as well as the failure to properly investigate killings of media workers.

“We are awaiting confirmation from the ICC’s Prosecutor’s Office about the action they intend to take, but the killing of Shireen and the shooting of Ali Al-Samoudi bring to sharp focus the need for urgent action by the ICC”, Bindmans LLP, the firm hosting the event, said before the press conference. “We will seek to add these cases to the complaint that is already before the ICC.”

Director of the ICJP, Tayeb Ali, and the solicitor in the case said. “The targeting of journalists in conflict zones anywhere in the world is unacceptable and must bring severe consequences for those who try to hide their crimes and violations by killing or maiming journalists.” Ali described how “Israel has enjoyed a devastating impunity” and that the “gift of impunity” granted to the Apartheid State by international community has endangered the lives of Palestinian journalists. He stressed that “evidence is not the problem … holding Israel to account is.” Ali citied the large pool of documented evidence which he claims proves Israel is targeting journalists.

Updating the press conference over the April complaint issued to the ICC and the next step to prosecuting Israel, Jennifer Robinson, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, also spoke of Israel’s systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists.

READ: Israel sniper ‘deliberately’ targeted Shireen Abu Akleh

Robinson mentioned the findings of the 2019 Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in Gaza. The Commission paid special attention to the protection of civilians and to groups warranting protection under international law, including children, women, health workers, journalists and persons with disabilities. Citing several individual cases including journalists that were shot in the abdomen, the Commission concluded that it had “found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot journalists intentionally, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”. The killing of Abu Akleh, said Robinson, is not one off. There exists a “pattern of targeting Palestinian journalists” she stressed, urging the ICC “to take action.”

Jim Boumelha, the former president of IFJ, a federation of some six thousand journalists world-wide, including Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, warned against the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel. “Risk-free killing has become a norm” he said speaking about Israel’s systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists. The killing of Abu Akleh is a message to countless others that they could be next, Boumelha claimed. IFJ alone has documented 877 violations by Israel against media and journalists. Appealing to the ICC to do its job, Boumelha said that “Israel may be the only country in the world that refuses to accept Palestinian journalists as journalists.”

Israel shoots dead Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, during invasion of Jenin – Cartoon 

A video message by Nasser Abu Bakr, President of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, urged new ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to hold Israel to account. 50 journalists have been killed since 2000 alone said Abu Bakr. 7,000 crimes against Palestinian journalists have been documented.

A detailed account of Abu Akleh’s killing was given by her colleague, Walid Al-Omari. “Why would they target Shireen?” asked Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief. He suggested that Israel was seeking to inflict a direct and powerful blow to Al Jazeera. By killing Abu Akleh, the Occupation State hoped to silence one of the most powerful voices in Arab media, Al Omari claimed.

Al Jazeera has called Abu Akleh’s killing a “blatant murder” that violates “international laws and norms”. In its statement on Thursday, the network said, according to Article 8 of the ICC Charter, “targeting war correspondents, or journalists working in war zones or occupied territories by killing or physically assaulting them, is a war crime”.

READ: Jordan honours slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

(Source / 27.05.2022)

30,000 Palestinians perform Friday prayer at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- About 30,000 Palestinian worshipers performed today Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem, pledging to protect the holy site from Israeli violations amid high tensions in the area.

Jerusalem’s Islamic Waqf confirmed that despite of Israeli strict restrictions, around 30,000 worshipers performed the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa, today.

Palestinian worshipers are getting ready to perform Friday prayer at #AlAqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources reported that well-armed Israeli forces harassed Palestinian worshipers heading to the holy site, earlier today. They also searched and confiscated their ID Cards after deploying in the streets of the city and in the vicinity of the mosque.

Moreover, the forces randomly arrested several Palestinian youths and prevented dozens others from entering the mosque.

Israeli occupation forces search vehicles at Salaheddin street in occupied Jerusalem and randomly arrest Palestinians, today.

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During the past days, Palestinian factions have called on Palestinians to revolt and to mobilize for prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in defense of the mosque and Jerusalem ahead of Israel’s allowing settlers to mark the annual far-right “Flag March” and pass through Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate and the Old City’s Muslim quarter on May 29.

The Flag March is usually held on Jerusalem Day, which marks Israel’s capture and subsequent occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

The march typically brings together thousands of young, far-right Israelis, who chant anti-Palestinian slogans and wave Israeli flags as they pass through the small streets of East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Last year’s parade took place amid heightened tensions in the city, paving the way for ‘Israel’ to launch a devastating military attack on the Gaza Strip, codenamed Guardian of the Walls.

The May 2021 assault left 256 Palestinians dead and thousands injured, as well as damaging over 50,000 homes and destroying key infrastructure.

The holy site had also been, last month, the centre of days of violence amid heightened tensions following a series of raids and attacks in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The occupation authorities have allowed settlers’ incursions to the holy site intensively since 2003.

In 2021, 34,562 settlers broke into the holy site, setting a new record, according to Al-Qastal. 19,000 settlers broke into the mosque in 2020 while 29,700 settlers in 2019.

Jews refer to the area as the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

The complex also includes the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the most sacred Christian sites in the world.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

Palestinian administrative detainees continue to boycott Israeli Military Courts for 147 days

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Over 600 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons have been boycotting Israeli Military Courts for 147 consecutive days.

Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups said this move comes in protest against Israel’s administrative detention without charges or trials.

The Palestinian detainees have been boycotting the Israeli Military Courts since January 1, 2022. The boycott includes initial hearings to uphold the administrative detention order, as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at the Supreme Court.

Under the banner, “Our decision is freedom … no to administrative detention,” the detainees said their move comes as a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention.”

They noted that Israel’s use of this policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children and elderly people.

“Israeli military courts are an important aspect for the occupation in its system of oppression,” the detainees said.

They also described courts as a “barbaric, racist tool” that “has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people under the banner of administrative detention, no through nominal and fictitious courts.”

Since March 2002, the number of Palestinians in administrative detention has never fallen below 100. In 2015 alone, ‘Israel’ issued 1248 administrative detention orders.

There are now around 4,600 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including over 600 administrative detainees.

‘Israel’ issued 1,114 administrative detention orders in 2020. In 2021, it issued 1,595 administrative detention orders.

In January and February, ‘Israel’ issued 203 administrative detention orders against Palestinians. However, in March, it issued 195 administrative detention orders.

In April, however, it issued at least 154 administrative detention orders against Palestinians; 68 of them were new while the 86 others were renewals.

Since the start of 2022, over 590 administrative detention orders have been issued by the Israeli occupation against Palestinians.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

Ex-ICC prosecutor calls on UK to compensate Palestinians for Balfour Declaration

Former Prosecutor of the Worldwide Felony Court docket (ICC) Choose Luis Moreno Ocampo has referred to as on Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration and compensate the Palestinian individuals for the struggling they’ve endured because of this.

A press convention organised by the Palestine Journalists Syndicate in Ramallah yesterday, Ocampo mentioned in keeping with the Oslo Settlement, the accountability for prosecuting criminals lies with the Palestinian judiciary, which is investigating the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, and in the event that they conclude that the killer is an Israeli they can not strive him, so the ICC can try this.

For his part, British barrister, specialising in public worldwide legislation, Ben Emmerson mentioned he’s inspecting the potential of suing Britain over the Balfour Declaration and holding the successive British governments chargeable for the tragedy and human disaster of the Palestinian individuals, who’re nonetheless residing the results of the UK’s determination at this time.

Emmerson defined that he’s specializing in three areas; the Balfour Declaration, which violated the Covenant of the League of Nations, “when the British mandate authorities made its promise that contributed to a demographic change in Palestine.”

“Though the matter appears very outdated to many, it may be completed,” he added.

Emmerson he’s additionally investigating crimes dedicated by the British Mandate in opposition to a lot of the Palestinian inhabitants which is able to shock the British individuals and the world.

“We can even study the Israeli occupation forces’ practices, which derive from the emergency legislation imposed by the British Mandate authorities, which was not repealed after the British exit from Palestine and is utilized by the Israeli occupation to collectively punish the Palestinians,” he added.

“Submitting the case signifies that Britain would recognise its debt in direction of the Palestinian individuals,” he added.

For his half, a member of the Common Secretariat of the Palestine Journalists’ Syndicate, Montaser Hamdan, praised the authorized efforts to deliver justice to the Palestinian individuals who have suffered a collection of assaults and violations.

“We see this as a invaluable alternative for dialogue on the native and worldwide ranges to construct a stable worldwide authorized file that may be moved on the worldwide stage,” he added.

Hamdan mentioned the ICC Prosecutor, Karim Khan, will at this time obtain the outcomes of the Palestinian investigation into Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s execution, declaring that her assassination constitutes a turning level within the crimes dedicated by Israel in opposition to the Palestinian individuals.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

Two Palestinian detainees continue hunger strike battling administrative detention

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Two Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails are continuing their open-ended hunger strike to protest their administrative detention without charge or trial.

Detainee Khalil Awawdeh has been on an open-ended hunger strike for 86 days in a row to protest against his administrative detention, with a clear deterioration inflicted upon his health condition.

Detainee Awawdeh is now suffering different health problems including pains in the head and joints, exhaustion and emaciation, continued vomiting, unstable heart rates, blurred vision in addition to a sharp loss of weight.

A father of four children, citizen Awawdeh was detained on December 27, 2021 and put on administrative detention without charge or trial.

In the same context, detainee Raed Rayyan, a resident of Beit Duqqu to the northwest of occupied Jerusalem, has been on hunger strike for 51 days in a row in a protest against holding him in administrative detention.

Citizen Rayyan was detained by Israeli forces on November 3, 2021, after raiding on his home in the town of Beit Duqqu.

According to Palestinian figures, about 4,500 Palestinians, including 32 women and 160 children, are currently languishing in Israeli detention jails.

Among them, close to 530 Palestinians are currently being held under Israel’s illegal policy of administrative detention without charge or trial.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

‘Israel’ hands 3 Palestinian people different prison terms

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – The Israeli military court of Salem has handed down an 11-month jail sentence and a fine of NIS 2,000 to Palestinian citizen Enad Abu al-Khair, a resident of the town of Silat al-Harithiya, west of the city of Jenin.

Asra Media Office said that the Israeli occupation forces detained Abu al-Khair on December 16, 2021 after breaking into his home, and transferred him to al-Jalama detention center where he was interrogated for two weeks before being moved to Rimon prison.

The office pointed out that detainee Abu al-Khair has been detained several times by the Israeli occupation forces.

In the same context, the office added that the Salem Israeli court has also sentenced two other people named Saddam al-Sa’di and Osama al-Sa’di to 24 and 28 months respectively and ordered them to pay a fine of NIS 4000.

It indicated that the Israeli occupation forces detained the two poeple after storming their homes in Silat al-Harithiya on October 25, 2020 and moved them to Al-Jalma detention centre for questioning.

According to Palestinian figures, about 4,500 Palestinians, including 32 women and 160 children, are currently languishing in Israeli detention jails.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

‘Israel’ demolishes 2 Palestinian-owned homes in occupied Jerusalem

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – The Israeli occupation authorities demolished on Wednesday two Palestinian houses in the occupied Jerusalem town of Beit Safafa under the pretext of lacking licenses.

Israeli occupation forces broke into the two homes and forced their residents out after assaulting them, alongside their neighbors.

Hanna Jouda, the owner of one of the demolished houses, said that a number of Israeli occupation soldiers stormed into her house, forcefully evicted her, along with her family, and prevented her from taking her official documents, including ID cards and birth certificates.

The Israeli occupation troops also atrociously assaulted her husband, Mohammed, and beat up her mother and son, who suffers from hearing problems, for refusing to leave their home.

She pointed out that her husband had been given a court ruling not to demolish the house until next September.
The 120-square-metre house, which is comprised of three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom, was built nearly a year ago.

The second home which was razed by the Israeli occupation authorities belongs to Yazid Tina.

His wife, Zinat, explained that Israeli occupation forces forcefully dragged her and her husband from the house.
She added that her family received a demolition notice five months ago and paid 50,000 for the Israeli occupation authorities to freeze the demolition order.

Israeli occupation troops took both families away from their houses and cordoned off the area, as Israeli bulldozers embarked on demolishing the homes.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

Israeli forces detain 31 Palestinians from different areas in occupied West Bank

Occupied Palestine (QNN) – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Thursday at least 31 Palestinian citizens in a large-scale detention campaign across several areas of the occupied West Bank towns and cities.

In Jenin, the IOF detained Anwar Hamed Abu Bakr, Arafat Fayez Amarneh, and Arab Khaled Qabha, as they passed through the Dotan Israeli military checkpoint near the town of Ya’bud, south of Jenin.

In Qalqilya, the IOF detained Hajj Bassem Sa’sa’, 60, Mohammed Khader, 49, Mohammed Khadraj, 35, Arbakan Mohammed Tabsiyeh, 26, Baraa Iyad Hammad, 25, and Anas Malik Dawood, 24.

Meanwhile in Ramallah, the IOF detained ex-detainee Yusuf Ra’id Hamed, 20, from the town of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, as well as Ra’id Shawamreh, while in Nablus, the IOF detained ex-detainee Mohammed Lafi from the town of Huwara.

Furthermore, in Hebron, the IOF detained Abdul Mon’im Jaradat, his son Bassel, 15, Bashar Idris Jaradat, Jihad Omar Jaradat, his son Omar, 14, Omar Hamdan Jaradat, Sa’d Nimr al-Farroukh, Shehada Metawer, and his son Murad, from the town of Sa’ir in the east of the city.

The Israeli forces also Bashir al-Akal, Anas Ali al-Jabour, from Yatta, Baraa Mazen Ballout, Assem Ali Ballout, as well as his brother Mohammed, from Bani Na’eem town in the city of Hebron.

In occupied Jerusalem, the IOF detained five Palestinian citizens, namely Rawhi Kelghasi, Mohammed al-Daqaq, Samir Abu Eisha, Mahmoud al-Shawish and Mohammed Najib.

(Source / 27.05.2022)

Soldiers Abduct Three Palestinians In Jerusalem

On Thursday evening, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.

The soldiers installed a military roadblock at the main entrance of Sur Baher town, southeast of Jerusalem, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, in addition to interrogating many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The soldiers then abducted a young man, Mohammad Attoun, and took him to an unknown destination.

The army also invaded the at-Tour town in Jerusalem and abducted a young man, Mahmoud Bakr Abu Al-Hawa.

Furthermore, many army jeeps invaded the Ras al-Amoud area in Silwan town in Jerusalem, leading to protests, and abducted a young man.

Earlier Thursday, the soldiers abducted five young Palestinian men from their homes in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.

On Thursday dawn, the soldiers abducted at least twenty-two Palestinians, including fathers and their children, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 27.05.2022)