Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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Palestinian Foreign Minister Delivers Evidence Against Israel To ICC

THE HAGUE (AFP) — The Palestinian Authority on Thursday presented the first batch of evidence to the International Criminal Court in support of its campaign to have Israel investigated for alleged war crimes.”The state of Palestine has pledged to cooperate with the court including by providing it with relevant information and it is fulfilling its pledge today,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told journalists after leaving the court.”The information provided by the state of Palestine make a compelling case for the prompt opening of an investigation,” Malki added.ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in January launched a preliminary probe to see whether there was enough evidence for a full-blown war crimes investigation into last year’s conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.The documents handed over on Thursday consist of two files: one about alleged Israeli crimes committed in Gaza during the 50-day war in July and August last year that killed over 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 73 Israelis, mostly soldiers.The other file deals with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including “information about the issue of Palestinian prisoners,” the Palestinian mission in The Hague said. “Achieving justice is essential for the Palestinian victims, dead and alive,” said Malki. “Palestine has chosen to seek justice not vengeance, this is why we are here today.”

The Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Riyad al-Maliki, leaves the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on June 25, 2015. ANP/AFP/Robin Van Lonkhuijsen)

The move is part of an increased focus on diplomatic maneuvering by the Palestinian leadership, who has grown frustrated with consecutive failures to end the nearly fifty-year Israeli occupation and creating their own independent state.Bensouda warned in May that both sides could face war crimes charges in the case, which has been vehemently opposed by Israel. Israel is not a signatory of the statute that established the court. Palestine ratified the ICC’s statutes in January.The PA’s submission of evidence comes three days after the UN Commission of Inquiry announced it had gathered “credible allegations” that both sides had committed war crimes during the conflict, which killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

The report decried the “huge firepower” used in Gaza, with Israel launching more than 6,000 airstrikes and firing 50,000 artillery shells during the 51-day operation.
It also criticized the “indiscriminate” firing of thousands of rockets and mortar rounds at Israel, which it said appeared to be have been intended to “spread terror” among Israeli civilians.Earlier this year, as the Palestinians were putting their accession to the ICC in motion, president Mahmoud Abbas sent documents to the court authorizing the prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories since June 13, 2014.Among the more controversial events of the Gaza war was Israel’s bombing of UN schools being used as shelters for the displaced.Israel said it was forced to carry out the strikes, claiming Hamas used them to store weapons or fire rockets at Israel.The ICC, set up in 2002, is the world’s only permanent independent body to try the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

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Headlines From Palestine: May 18, 2015

Israeli Occupation Navy Forces Fire At Gaza Fishermen

Israeli navy forces on Monday opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza, Palestinian security officials said.

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Palestine Asks ICC To Set Fixed Date To Submit Lawsuits Against Israeli Occupation

The Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad Al-Maliki on Monday said that he asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to set a date for submitting the case files pertaining to the settlements and war crimes lawsuits against Israel to the court.

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Israeli Occupation Arrests 8 Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli army and police on Monday arrested eight Palestinians, including four teenagers and a mother, during separate raids in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, according to local sources.

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Israeli War Criminal Settlers Enjoy Widespread Impunity In Attacks Against Palestinians, Says Israeli Group

A report published by the Israeli human rights organization of Yesh Din stated that Israeli settlers enjoy widespread impunity for their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

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Palestine Asks ICC To Set Fixed Date To Submit Lawsuits Against Israeli Occupation


The Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad Al-Maliki on Monday said that he asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to set a date for submitting the case files pertaining to the settlements and war crimes lawsuits against Israel to the court.

“I filed a request two days ago to the ICC to set a date so we can submit the case files of the settlements and Israel’s war crime lawsuits,” al-Maliki told Palestinian radio, according to videonews.us.

“We’re waiting for a date to be scheduled, and it might be in the middle of next month,” al-Maliki said, adding that he “will head to The Hague for this [submitting the case files] once a date is set”.

On April 1st, Palestine officially joined the ICC after The Hague-based tribunal approved its accession bid.

In January, Palestinians formally delivered the UN papers ratifying the Rome Statute – the legal document establishing the court – with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acting as “depository.”

The move came after an Arab draft resolution at the UN General Assembly seeking a deadline for ending Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories failed to win the nine votes needed to pass.

Shortly later, Abbas applied for Palestinian membership in 18 international treaties, including the Rome Statute.

The ICC was established in 1998 as a court of last resort to prosecute the most heinous offenses – such as war crimes and crimes against humanity – in cases where national court systems had failed.

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Palestine Accumulates Official Reports For ICC

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The documentation necessary for Palestine to bring Israel to the International Criminal Court will be approved before the end of 2015, says the ambassador of Palestine to Switzerland. Documentation will include reports regarding illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli military offensives against the Gaza Strip, among others to be submitted when the Palestinian Authority decides to go to ICC, Ibrahim Khreisha said Wednesday.

After decades of failed negotiations with Israel and no prospect of achieving statehood anytime soon, Palestinian leadership has been waging a campaign for recognition at international bodies including the ICC, where leaders hope Palestinians may gain justice against alleged war crimes committed by Israel.Khreisha highlighted to Ma’an that the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Israeli military offensive on Gaza would submit its final report to the UN Human Rights Council by the end of May. Furthermore, added Khreisha, a World Health Organization committee has already submitted the results of an investigation into Israeli health violations of Palestinians.

The report includes details on Israeli prevention of shipment of medicine and medical equipment into the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as accounts of Israeli prevention of patients from travelling abroad for treatment. “This report is additional evidence documenting Israeli violations of Palestinian rights and it will be ready for use at ICC,” according to Khreisha.
A report on losses sustained by the Palestinian economy from the Israeli occupation since 1967, prepared by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, will also be included, the ambassador said.Khereisha pointed out that chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda has asked Israel to respond to reports submitted so far by human rights groups and civil society organizations.
“According to Article 12 of Rome Statute, the chief prosecutor is authorized to verify any information or testimonies the ICC prosecution receives about crimes, then she refers the information to five judges who also verify the claims, and if they approve them, accusation will be leveled to the parties and they will be summoned to the ICC for questioning,” explained Khereisha.ICC chief prosecutor Bensouda said in April she is also weighing opening war crimes investigations into Palestinians, after Palestine joined the tribunal’s jurisdiction last month.
A UN report released earlier this month found Israel responsible for seven deadly strikes on UN schools used as shelters during the conflict, but also found that Palestinian militants had used vacant schools as weapons stores and possibly also as firing positions.

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Headlines From Palestine: April 13, 2015

New Euro-Mid Report Documents Israeli Occupation Harassment At Erez Border Crossing

An increasing number of Palestinian businessmen are being detained while attempting to cross into Israel via the Erez checkpoint for routine trips, reports Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights.

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Israeli Extremists Take Over Roman Era Castle & Village In Salfit, Palestine

Israeli settlers from Leshem colonial settlement west Salfit today have taken over the historical village, Deir Sim’an, on the lands of Kafr Deek and Rafat.

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 Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Home In Occupied Galilee

Clashes on Sunday night took place between the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinians in Kafr Kanna in the occupied Galilee, following the Israeli demolition of a Palestinian’s home under the pretext of ” having no building permit.”

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(UPDATE) Israeli Occupation Arrests 19 Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem Including Minors

The Israeli authorities Monday arrested at least 19 Palestinians during predawn and night raids in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to local and security sources.

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UN Denounces Israeli Occupation’s Arbitrary Administrative Detention of Palestinians

Israeli practices of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protection for civilians, the United Nations has said.

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PLO: Israeli War Crimes And Settlement Files Go To The ICC In Two Months

Nabil Shaath, PLO central committee member and the International commissioner for the organization, on Sunday said that the Palestinian committees working on Israeli war crimes case will file lawsuit against Israeli occupation authorities in the ICC in Lahai within the next two months

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Full Report: Israeli Occupation exploiting Palestinian children on illegal settlement farms in West Bank.

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PLO: Israeli War Crimes And Settlement Files Go To The ICC In Two Months

PNN/ Ramallah/

Nabil Shaath, PLO central committee member and the International commissioner for the organization, on Sunday said that the Palestinian committees working on Israeli war crimes case will file lawsuit against Israeli occupation authorities in the ICC in Lahai within the next two months.

Shaath, in a statement to Al Khalij Online said that all the sub-committees following the basic committee on Israeli war crimes, are working day and night to collect evidence and documents to submit to the ICC. Documents include evidence regarding the Israeli settlement expansion, and the last offensive on Gaza which killed more than 2,200 people according to UN statistics.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas back in February announced that he formed a committee tasked with following up on the Palestinian complaints against Israel at the ICC.

Palestine officially became a member in the ICC on April 1st, after its statehood bid fell through at the United Nations in January, drawing fresh opposition from Washington, a close ally of the Zionist state.

The committee, headed by Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, consists of 31 Palestinian politicians of all stripes, academics and human rights activists, as well as representatives of Palestinian institutions such as the ministries of justice and foreign affairs.

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Government Of Palestine Seeks To Speed Up ICC Probe Into Israeli War Crimes

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority is providing new documents to the International Criminal Court to speed up a preliminary probe into possible Israeli war crimes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki said Monday.

The probe, which was opened on Jan. 16 by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, is not a full investigation but an examination of available information to decide whether there is a “reasonable basis” to proceed with an investigation.

Al-Malki said that if the ICC decides not to launch an investigation, the PA will seek to open an investigation of its own accord, with “specific referrals” to both the Israeli settlement program and last summer’s Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

However, he added that the probe, which is focusing on Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories since June 13 and includes the offensive on Gaza, is likely to take some time, due to the volume of information under examination.

The minister added that the PA is in talks with China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, in a bid to ensure that any future investigations into Israel at the ICC are not disabled or postponed.

This is possible by a majority vote at the Security Council.

Withheld tax funds

Palestine formally became a member of the ICC on Apr. 1.

While some Palestinian officials announced the date as the day they would file complaints against Israelis, in reality it was unlikely they would act before the outcome of the preliminary probe was known.

On Apr. 29, shortly before Palestine gained ICC membership, Israeli media reported that the PA had agreed to hold off on legal steps against Israel in return for Israel releasing tax funds that it collects on the PA’s behalf.

Israel had been withholding the amount, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, as punishment for Palestinian moves to join the ICC.

Palestinian officials have strongly denied the allegations, insisting their intention to take legal action against Israel at the international court as soon as possible.

Israel has since transferred part of the money but has sparked anger among Palestinians by attempting to deduct a third which Israel claims is due for electricity, water and medical services.

On Sunday, President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to refer Israel to the ICC over their refusal to fully release the tax funds.

Abbas said: “Now we have a new file to take to the ICC, first there was the (summer) war in Gaza, then there was the settlements and now the Palestinian leadership is considering presenting this issue to the court in due time.”

The Palestinians would not accept anything but the full amount, he said.

“We will not take the money until we get all of it: either you give us the full amount or we go to the ICC.”

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PLO’s Dr. Erekat On Palestine’s Membership To The ICC

Today is a historic day in the struggle for justice, freedom, and peace for our people and all those seeking justice worldwide. Today marks the official membership of the State of Palestine to the International Criminal Court, reflecting Palestine’s commitment to justice, international law, and human rights. Our determination to protect our people against the injustice of those responsible for war crimes is underscored by our nation’s accession to the Rome Statute and submission to the
ICC’s jurisdiction. This significant occasion serves as a reminder to the international community of its responsibilities under international law, in order to achieve a just and lasting peace, and put an end to the prolonged Occupation.
We call upon the international community to support the inalienable rights of our people, including our right to self-determination, by supporting our peaceful movement to end decades of impunity, occupation, and exile. Once again we call upon all nations of conscience to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
State of Palestine
April 1, 2015
Statement by PLO Executive Committee Member and Head of the ICC Higher National Committee Dr. Saeb Erekat on Palestine’s Official Accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

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Headlines From Palestine: April 1, 2015

Palestine officially becomes 123rd member of International Criminal Court



Israeli Occupation War Boats Open Fire At Gaza Fishermen

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Israeli Occupation arrested 2 Palestinian businessmen crossing at Erez border crossing from Gaza

West Bank And Occupied

Lands Israeli Occupation Military Erects Watchtower Overlooking Palestinian Girls’ School in Hebron

The Israeli military forces Tuesday took over a Palestinian’s home, which is adjacent to a local elementary girls’ school in the old town of Hebron and erected a military watchtower overlooking the school’s yard.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Injure Palestinian With Live Fire In Jenin

A Palestinian was injured with live fire as Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank early Wednesday.

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Israel Occupation Demolish Family Home, Retaining Walls in Jerusalem

The Israeli authorities proceeded Tuesday to demolish a house and retaining walls in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Jouz, according to local sources.

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Israeli Occupation Soldiers Attack Students With Tear Gas Causing Suffocation Injuries

A number of Palestinian students Tuesday suffered suffocation by tear gas as Israeli soldiers assualted them while they were heading to their schools in the town of Taqou to the East of Bethlehem, according to security sources.

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Political Arrests And Prisoners

Israeli Occupation Arrests 13 Year Old Palestinian Ahmad Risheq from Silwan

The occupation forces arrested on Monday night the 13-year old Ahmad Mansour Risheq from the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan.

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121 Palestinians Sentenced To Administrative Detention In Israeli Prisons Since Early March

Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 121 Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of March, including new orders issued Tuesday against 40 prisoners, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) on Tuesday.

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World And Politics

France to present new resolution to the UN Security Council to end Israeli Occupation of Palestine in 12-14 days.

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Palestine Refuses To Accept Transfer Of Tax Money After Israel Illegally Withholds Portion Of Funds ( $75 Million)

The Palestinian cabinet, in its weekly session Tuesday, rejected Israel’s unilateral decision to transfer the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues after deducting almost 300 million shekels ($75 million).

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Headlines From Palestine: March 31, 2015


Israeli Occupation Shoots And Injures 3 Palestinians In Gaza

Three Palestinians where shot and injured by Israeli forces in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, a medical official said Monday.

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West Bank And Occupied Lands

Israeli Occupation Forces Partially Demolish Palestinian Home Near Jerusalem’s Old City

Israeli bulldozers demolished part of a home belonging to the Amr family in the Wadi al-Juz neighborhood east of Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday.

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Political Arrests And Prisoners

Israeli Occupation Arrests 10 Palestinians From Jerusalem Including Two 15 Year Olds

The Israeli forces arrested 10 Jerusalemites on Monday early morning.

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Palestine Joins ICC Today

The Palestinians formally gain membership of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday with the aim of pursuing Israelis for war crimes, despite uncertainty over the move’s wider ramifications.

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ICC Launches Investigation Into Israeli War Crimes

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has commenced a preliminary investigation into Israel’s crimes and settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, a senior Palestinian official said Monday.

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The Occupation

Israeli Militarisation Of Youth In Pictures With The *Bad Guys* Wearing Palestinian Scarves)

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