Palestinian Authority: commit to justice and join the ICC
In November 2012, at least 100 Palestinian civilians and four Israeli civilians were killed after the Israeli army launched Operation “Pillar of Defence”. During the conflict that followed, unlawful attacks were carried out by both sides. Israeli forces hit over 1,500 targets throughout the Gaza Strip. Palestinian armed groups fired over 1,500 indiscriminate rockets at Israel. Three years earlier, hundreds of Palestinian civilians and three Israeli civilians were killed in the context of Operation “Cast Lead”. Neither side has taken adequate steps to ensure that anyone was held accountable for crimes under international law. Unless they do, civilians will continue to be caught in the cross-fire and pay with their lives.
President Abbas now has a unique opportunity to help victims find justice. Last year Palestine was recognized as a non-member observer state of the United Nations. This means that the government can now ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Victims of crimes under international law committed by all parties could then seek justice through the Court.
Joining the ICC also sends a strong message that crimes against civilians will never be committed with impunity on Palestinian territory, and that Palestinian leaders will not forget human rights and justice while pursuing negotiations.
1. Add your name to Amnesty’s global petition
2. Write a personal letter to President Mahmoud Abbas calling on him to ensure that Palestine accedes to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2013.
Office of the President
Palestinian Authority, via Israel
Fax: +972-2-2969740 (fax of Chief of Staff in President’s office)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Photo: Family home near Gaza City, heavily damaged by an Israeli air strike on the next-door house which killed four people and injured dozens on 19 November 2012 © Amnesty International