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Posts tagged ‘international law’

Palestinians are killed not because Israeli soldiers disobey orders but because they follow them

It is now over a week since an Israeli sniper shot and killed Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja, as he covered the ongoing “Great Return March” protests in the occupied Gaza Strip. Incredibly, at the time of writing, the Israeli military has still not offered any explanation of why he was shot.

The killing of Murtaja has prompted widespread condemnation. He is, however, just one of 35 Palestinians killed – including three children – by Israeli forces since 30 March, with a further 1,500 protesters shot by Israeli live fire (see these AP reports). Read more

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It’s no surprise the ICC is warning that it may intervene over the Israel-Gaza border clash

Yesterday, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warned that the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip could “constitute crimes under the Rome Statute”.

The ICC’s intervention, in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination into potential crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), is unsurprising given three factors: the number of casualties, the orders given to Israeli soldiers, and the minimal likelihood of accountability. Read more

This week a world leader much worse than Donald Trump is visiting the UK – but I don’t see any protest from MPs

That US President Donald Trump has not yet made an official visit to the UK is down to the entirely justifiable opposition such a prospect provokes.

Here is a man who ran a racist election campaign and brought hard-right nationalists into the corridors of power, who has open contempt for treaties and bodies like the United Nations.

Yet this week, Theresa May will welcome to London another world leader about whom the exact same – and much more – can be said: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more

Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns

The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.

It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt. Read more

What’s behind John Kerry’s speech?

A eulogy for the two-state solution? Maybe – but Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Wednesday sounded suspiciously like yet another desperate attempt to sustain the so-called ‘peace process’.

It is only possible to understand the Security Council resolution and Kerry’s speech, how to view them – their weaknesses, and the opportunities they represent – by beginning with a reality check about the two-decade old, US and internationally-led peace process. Read more

Time for international community to get tough on Israel

2017 must be the year that the international community finally toughens up its language and, most importantly, its actions, when it comes to Israel.

The case is well known and irrefutable. Israel is a serial human rights violator whose laws and policies contravene UN Security Council resolutions in addition to various other international humanitarian-law obligations and treaties. Read more

Israeli settlements are about much more than a few houses

Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are illegal, constituting a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions. They are also an impediment to a long-term negotiated deal, in that they eat up land, and their continued growth is a clear sign of bad faith.

But Israel’s colonies in the oPt are also part of a violent, inherently discriminatory regime of segregation and displacement – in other words, they have an immediate, ongoing human rights impact. And their “footprint” goes well beyond the built-up areas of houses and caravans. Read more

Three things MPs should be talking about if they really support Palestine

At a time when Israel’s most loyal defenders in the UK parliament pay lip service to a “two-state solution,” what does it mean in Westminster to support the Palestinians?

The question arises in light of a new campaign that the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is launching under the title “For Israel, For Palestine, For Peace,” a rebranding exercise announced during the Labour Party’s recent annual conference. Read more

How much Palestinian land do Israeli settlements really eat up?

The Israeli government and its supporters routinely play down the significance of West Bank settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. One recent example of this came from a Jewish Agency spokesperson, who tweeted: “Jewish communities in the West Bank take up under 2% of the land; that is, over 98% of the West Bank contains no Jewish residents at all.”

So is this true – and exactly how much of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) do Israel’s settlements take up? Read more

‘Just a few more apartments’: Netanyahu dismisses concerns over Israeli settlements

Benjamin Netanyahu is a busy man; he certainly doesn’t have time to deal seriously with international objections – even from allies – to petty topics such as settlement expansion.

That was the impression Israel’s prime minister gave on Wednesday, when he dismissed US concerns about the recent approval of 800 new housing units in settlements. “A few more apartments near the municipality of Ma’ale Adumim” are not “preventing peace”, Netanyahu said.

This was classic Bibi disingenuousness. Read more