Court, Fighter Jets,Homemade Bombs, Illegal Settlements: Israel-Palestine Weekend

Smoke over Gaza after 13 Jan Israeli Attacks (photo from AP GraphicsBanks via amnesty.org)

Smoke over Gaza after 13 Jan Israeli Attacks (photo from AP GraphicsBanks via amnesty.org)

Israeli media sources say that two Israeli soldiers were slightly wounded in Sha’aar Hangaiv by homemade shells fired from Gaza.

Reportedly with the exception of  Hamas , Gaza based factions (Popular resistance committees, popular front for the liberation of Palestine, and the Islamic Jihad group) say that they will not negotiate a ceasefire until Israel reopens the Gaza border crossings, according to IMEMC. Hamas is currently in cease fire negotiations via Egyptian mediators.

Palestinian sources say that F16 Israeli fighter jets shelled the Southern Gaza Strip near Rafa. Israel says the attacks were in response to the home made shells launched from Gaza. Reports regarding injuries and death have yet to be reported.

Reportedly, After Israeli pressure on the US and Europe for help in monitoring tunnels between the Gaza Egypt border,  authorities from Egypt,the US and Germany are conducting  joint surveillance operations. The 32 Million Dollar project is being funded by the United States (IMEMC).

Palestinan Smugling goat through tunnel by AP on IMEC

Palestinan Smugling goat through tunnel by AP on IMEC

Israel says the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons into Gaza. However, since Israel tightened it’s occupation hold on Palestine in 2007′, the tunnel has also served as the only way to bring food, and life sustaining goods to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza (IMEMC).

Israeli group, Yesh Din, say its initiating a campaign to help Palestinians sue Israel for violating international and Israeli law by building illegal Israeli settlements on privately owned Palestinian land without permits or any form of approval, says the International Herald Tribune. Yesh Din’s legal counselor, Michael Sfard, is planning

Illegal Israeli Settlment via Magnus Johansson/Maan Images via IMEMC

Illegal Israeli Settlment via Magnus Johansson/Maan Images via IMEMC

to demand removal of Israeli buildings, and reparations for the years the lands were occupied. He says if he has to move the case to international courts he wills. Israeli has prohibited the release of detailed information regarding Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territories since 2004, amid international pressures.

Israel online, Haaretz, says that the Prime Minister’s office is declaring that  Ma’aleh Adumim (currently inhabited by over 30,000 Palestinians) is and will remain part of Israel. Reportedly, the realization of this declaration would prevent any possibility of the establishment of a Palestinian state  by blocking development between Jerusalem and

E1 area of Jerusalem, Ma'aleh Adumim image by PASSIA via IMEMC

E1 area of Jerusalem, Ma'aleh Adumim image by PASSIA via IMEMC

Ramallah as well as removing any possibility of  East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state . The home office is also planing to illegally build a new settlement on the Palestinian lands of Al Ezariyya, Al Toor and Al Esawiyya. The Prime Ministers new settlement plan, 12442 Dunans, would include  a new 3500 housing unit for approximately 14500 settlers, ten hotels, recreational facilities, and an industrial zone (IMEMC).

French Lawyer Gilles Dovers says that 500 pending prosecution complaints have been submitted by Arab, European and Latin American officials to The Hague’s war crimes tribunal, according to PNN. Reportedly, the suits are for all 1.5 million residents of Gaza against the fifteen Israeli political and military officials (published by Israeli activists in Tel Aviv) including: Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, and Ehud Barak (click to see wanted posters).

According to the Guardian, The International court of Justice (ICC) says Israel has violated international law. However, in order of the ICC to have jurisdiction over war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the perpetrators must be signatories to the Rome statue. Since neither Israel nor Palestine are signatories, if allegations are brought forth it  will most likely be before an ad-hoc tribunal (as was in the case of  Rwanda and former Yugoslavia).

Princeton University’s Professor Emeritus of International Law and  UN Special rapporteur on Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, told the Gaurdian, that if there was political will, UN Charter article 22 gives the UN General Assembly  the right to establish an ad-hoc tribunal.

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