Hamas leadership must be probed for War Crimes

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The Right Honourable Mrs. Fatou Bensouda

Prosecutor of The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM   The Hague

The Netherlands

otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int

Fax +31 70 515 8555

 Subject: Hamas leadership must be probed for War Crimes

 Your Excellency!

 We call on The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute to urgently investigate the serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas and request decisive action regarding a severe case of war crimes.

Since the Hamas terrorist organization took power in Gaza, it has committed a large number of war crimes, as defined by International Law.

The Hamas movement inflicted both on the Gaza population and on Israel has caused much suffering and heavy losses and damage both to Israel's civilian population and to the entire Gaza Strip.

 During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has used populated areas of Gaza to launch attacks against Israel. The terrorist organization knows that rocket launching sites may be the targets of IDF counterstrikes. Nevertheless, Hamas has never stopped firing rockets from mosques, school, hospitals and other civilian areas.

 In Gaza the Hamas stored rockets and other weaponry and ammunition primarily in residential areas; in schools, mosques and houses. Thousands of rocket and missile attacks were launched from within these areas, obliging Israeli defense forces response which inevitably led to great suffering of the population and damage to property.

 According to International Law any source of fire on civilian targets is a legitimate target itself. If that source of fire was located among civilians it still remains a legitimate target; and if that vicinity invites fire in return, causing casualties among the local population, these casualties are the full and sole responsibility of the party placing them deliberately in harm's way.

Hamas Launched Attacks from UNRWA School. Hamas terrorists continuously placed weapons in, and launched rockets and mortars from, the direct vicinity of UNRWA facilities, including schools.

In this case Hamas is fully responsible both for the deliberately targeted Israeli civilian casualties and for the civilian casualties of its own population used by Hamas as a human shield.

 We call on The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute to urgently investigate the serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas

 We demand that the Hamas leadership be brought to international justice without delay, and tried for the following war crimes:

•        Lauching rockets and missiles purposely on civilian targets in Israel.

•        Shooting these rockets from within Palestinian civilian compounds such as hospitals, schools, mosques or residential buildings.

•        Storing rockets and missiles in Hospitals, schools, mosques and public buildings.

•        Infiltrating Israel through tunnels, intending to commit a massacre or abduct Israelis.

•        Using their own civilians as human shield; particularly children, often forced to be in the most dangerous spots.

•        Hijacking civilian infrastructure for terrorist purposes. Hamas fighters have routinely hid among civilians in hospitals, schools and mosques.

•        Using ambulances for military purposes. Hamas has used humanitarian vehicles to carry out military acts and disguise combatants as civilians.

•        Children and minors were routinely used by Hamas for military tasks, both battle and auxiliary. The Hamas regime has also educated, indoctrinated and trained children and minors to murderous hatred, to will and techniques to kill.

•        The Hamas leadership embezzled aid money received for the peaceful needs of Gaza's population and used these extensive funds for war efforts; weaponry, tunnels, military equipment and constructions, and an enormous military build-up.

•        Hamas has urged Palestinians to scale rooftops, forcing Israel to abort strikes on military targets, and has ordered civilians not to evacuate fighting zones when Israel has urged them to leave for their own safety. Hamas's strategy is "to force the IDF to kill innocent civilians" as a cynical means of creating international pressure against Israel to stop defending itself. 

 A failure to prosecute the Hamas leadership in International Court would, no doubt, lead to their war crimes growingly become normative behavior, and to more of the same humanitarian catastrophes, to millions of victims of oppression and killings undefended by the UN.

The Hamas terrorists have been using Palestinian men, women and children as human shields in their military operations violating the Geneva Convention.

The honorable Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), we must end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

we would appreciate your considered reply, which, with your permission, we would publish, along with this letter. We shall follow your relevant activities with great honor, high expectations, and deep moral support.

Yours sincerely, 

       

 

Article 23f of the 1907 regulations 

annexed to the Thague Convention IV

respecting the laws and customs of war on land.

 

Aditional protocol 1, art 77(2)

Article 44 of the first Geneva convention

Article 59 of the fourth Geneva convention

Article 60 of the fourth Geneva convention

Article 34 of the fourth Geneva convention

Article 48, 51, 52(2) of additional protocol
 
 

 



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