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World Is Watching United Nation’s Response To Israel’s Crimes

Above photo: Aklouk Tower ruins after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on Oct. 8, 2023. Palestinian News & Information Agency for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons.

Mona Ali Khalil lists Israel’s crimes from A to Z.

And says the U.N. must fulfill its responsibility to protect the civilians in Gaza and hold all perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable.

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasts that he single-handedly blocked a Palestinian State from becoming a reality even though it is recognized by more than 130 countries and enjoys the status of an observer state in the United Nations.

In his 16 years in power, Netanyahu has ramped up illegal settlements, effectively annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem; funneled millions of dollars to prop up Hamas and undermine the Palestinian Authority; and concluded the Abraham Accords with four Arab governments willing to sideline the Palestinian cause: Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and United Arab Emirates.

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas launched a bloody attack in southern Israel, which disrupted the status quo — one that was acceptable to Israelis but agonizing for Palestinians. According to Israel’s latest count, 685 Israeli civilians, 373 members of the Israeli security forces and 71 foreigners were killed as a result of that attack and the Israeli security forces’ delayed response to it.

Since then, Netanyahu and his extremist government have waged a vengeful war on Gaza and a possibly genocidal war against its entire population.

Israel’s American, European and Arab allies are seeking to resurrect the two-state solution as a path to peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Netanyahu objects to such proposals, saying that a Palestinian State “would give a huge reward to unprecedented terrorism.”

One can equally say — if not more so — that the Arab states and Muslim world’s renewed offer to recognize and to make peace with Israel along the 1967 green line would also give “a huge reward” to Israel’s unprecedented barbarism.

Crimes From A-To-Z

While the list of crimes by Hamas is long, including the deliberate killing of civilians, indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and the taking of men, women and child hostages, the list of crimes by Israel and its armed forces and armed settlers is much longer. From A to Z, they include:

International Legal Proceedings

During the tenure of its former prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an ongoing investigation into alleged crimes by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups as well by the Israeli armed forces and armed Israeli settlers. The current ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, has vowed to continue that investigation, including into the events of Oct. 7 and its aftermath.

The International Court of Justice has two ongoing proceedings directly involving Israel and Palestine. The first is a December 2022 request by the U.N. General Assembly for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The second is a December 2023 case brought by South Africa against Israel alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The World Court, as the ICJ is also known, has recently concluded that genocide allegations are plausible and ordered provisional measures to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In December 2023, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 2720 demanding the immediate, unconditional release of all hostages and calling on all parties to protect civilians and enable the immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. In the resolution, the council also reiterated its “unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-State solution.”

Also in December 2023, the 10th emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted its second resolution since the current crisis began. With 153 member states voting in favor, the assembly called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire; reiterated its demand that all parties comply with their obligations regarding the protection of civilians and humanitarian assistance; and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

There are increasing calls for the deployment of a civilian protection force in Gaza and the West Bank as well as recommendations to impose diplomatic, financial or other measures, including an arms embargo on Israel. A resumed meeting of the 10th emergency special session could recommend such measures under the “Uniting for Peace” resolution [adopted in 1950].

The world is watching and waiting for the U.N. to fulfill its responsibility to protect the civilians in Gaza. We are looking to the U.N.’s principal organs and the international courts to hold the perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable — whether they be Palestinian militants or Israeli soldiers and armed settlers.

By holding the perpetrators and their leaders individually accountable, we can ensure that the peace and security that most Israelis and Palestinians yearn for can be pursued and achieved without rewarding the crimes of Hamas or the crimes of Israel.

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