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URGENT ALERT: Palestine Write to U.N. General Assembly President urging for creation of Israeli war crimes tribunal

31 December 2008

In light of the current Israeli bombardment of Gaza and humanitarian crises, IHRC calls on campaigners to write to the U.N. General Assembly President, urging for the creation of an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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31 December 2008

URGENT ALERT: Palestine Write to U.N. General Assembly President urging for creation of Israeli war crimes tribunal

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter


1. Summary

With the Gaza death toll exceeding 400, the Islamic Human Rights Commission calls on campaigners to send letters to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, to urge the U.N. General Assembly to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI).


2. Background

After five days of consecutive bombardment of Gaza, and an ever-increasing death toll, demonstrators all over the world are calling for an end to the massacre. Campaigners are urged to continue attending demonstrations and boycotting Israel, and are now asked to send letters to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, urging for the long-overdue establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22.

On the topic of Israels current attack on Gaza, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said on Sunday:

"In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes."

Francis A. Boyle, in calling for the creation of such an Israeli war crimes tribunal, said:

The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, Defense Minister Barak , Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and Israel's other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians.


3. Action required

Write to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, urging for the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22.
Fax: +1 (212) 963-4423
Email: http://www.un.org/ga/contactus.asp


4. Sample letter

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If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to the President of the U.N. General Assembly.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]


President
General Assembly
United Nations
New York, NY USA

[Date]

Dear Sir,

Re: Creation of Israeli war crimes tribunal

The current massacre happening in Gaza is of urgent concern to my community and I. For attacks which bear all the trademarks of war crimes, is it not time for them to be assessed within the appropriate context of an Israeli war crimes tribunal?

Surely, you do not need me to relate to you the strangulation and bombardment of Gaza, and the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding. After five days of consecutive bombardment of Gaza, and a death toll exceeding 400, calls for an end to the massacre fall on the deaf ears of a murderous Israeli government.

The 1.5 million abused and starved inhabitants of the worlds biggest concentration camp are being forced to continue to collectively-pay for democratically-electing their government.

While the Israeli authorities punish the Palestinians in order to teach Hamas a hard-handed lesson, the civilian casualties and number of injured continue to soar. Israel is refusing ceasefire requests, in spite of Hamas offering it on the basis of reasonable and attainable compromises: an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank, according to Yuval Diskin, current head of Israeli security services Shin Bet.

Also, in light of the current attacks which have sparked international condemnation, Archbishop Desmund Tutu said: "In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes."

Over the past 2 months, fuel supply to Gaza has been blocked leading to the closure of its power plant, and even the U.N. has been forced to halt distribution of food aid, upon which most Gazans are reliant. The actions of the Israeli authorities violate the Geneva Conventions and so many international norms. It is now more necessary than ever for the U.N. to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22. Failure to create viable accountability would only further embolden the Israeli government to continue their extermination of the Palestinians.

As the crimes committed against Palestinians degrade all humanity, we request you to urge members of the U.N. General Assembly to swiftly take necessary and appropriate action towards creating an ICTI under U.N. Charter Article 22, and holding the Israeli government accountable.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]


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Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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