US and Israel officials guilty of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle

As demanded by the peoples and all justice and peace-loving forces, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) calls for the prosecution before the International Criminal Court of Israeli officials and military commanders for committing war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, and US leaders for aiding, abetting, and assisting in the commission of these crimes during the murderous rampage of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in their 50-day military aggression on Gaza codenamed Operation Protective Edge.

The IDF killed more than 2,175 Palestinians (more than 500 of them children and over 80% civilians) and wounded at least 10,895 people (around 2,500 of them children). An estimated 370,000 children have been traumatized and need psychological help. More than 500,000 Palestinians have been rendered homeless and made refugees.

17,200 homes have been totally destroyed and 37,000 have been damaged. 1,300 buildings with public, productive and commercial character have been destroyed. Two thirds of Gazans have no access to water due to the damage to sewer and water infrastructure.

Israeli forces bombed 142 schools, 89 of them run by the UN, including six UN schools in which civilians were taking refuge. They bombed one-third of Gaza’s hospitals and 14 primary healthcare clinics. Gaza’s only power plant was damaged beyond repair.

The above monstrous crimes have imposed a new holocaust on the Palestinian people who are fighting back in their own land, inflicting virtually no casualties, except 64 Israeli Zionist troops and three unfortunate civilians hit by rockets. Israel has once again applied the so-called Dahiya Doctrine, first conceived by Israel in Lebanon in 2006, which involves the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.

Gadi Eisenkott, head of the IDF’s Northern Command, explains the Dahiya Doctrine in this way:

What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006, “will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on…We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases… This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.

US officials have aided, abetted and assisted the commission by Israel of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity by providing the latter with the military means to commit these crimes.

In 2007, GW Bush promised to provide Israel with US$30 billion in military assistance from 2009 to 2018. In his visit to Israel in March 2013, Obama pledged to continue providing Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid. Since 2012, the US has sent US$276 million worth of weapons and munitions to Israel. From January to May 2014, the US gave Israel almost US$27 million for rocket launchers, US$9.3 million worth of parts for guided missiles, and nearly US$762,000 for bombs, grenades and munitions of war.

While Operation Protective Edge was going on, the US provided Israel additional ammunition, including 140mm tank rounds and 40mm illumination grenades from the US$1 billion stockpile of ammunition the US military stores for Israel’s use. In early August 2014, both houses of the US Congress passed, and Obama signed, an appropriation of US$225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which was used in the Gaza offensive.

There is enough evidence to charge Israeli officials of committing war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome statute for the International Criminal Court. In accordance with the Rome statute, US officials can also be convicted of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity for aiding, abetting, and otherwise assisting in the commission or attempted commission of these crimes, “including providing the means for their commission”.

The ILPS supports the action taken by the US’ National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists in urging Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders, and aided and abetted by US officials in Gaza.

The abovementioned prestigious organizations have enumerated the following crimes committed by Israeli forces:

War crimes

War crimes according to the Rome Statute constitute the following: willful killing; willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health; unlawful and wanton, extensive destruction, and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity; willfully depriving a prisoner of war or a civilian the rights of fair and regular trial; intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, civilian objects, or humanitarian vehicles, installations and personnel; intentionally launching attacks with knowledge they will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or long-term severe damage to the natural environment, if they are clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage; and attacking or bombarding undefended towns, villages, dwellings or buildings, or intentionally attacking religious, educational and medical buildings, which are not military objectives.

Genocide

Genocide according to the Rome Statute is committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. Palestinians, including primarily civilians, and Palestinian infrastructure necessary to sustain life were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces.

Israeli forces killed more than 2,175 Palestinians, wounded at least 10,895, and devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, and destroying homes, schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.

Crimes against humanity

The following acts constitute crimes against humanity: the commission of murder as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population; persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national, ethnic or religious character, as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population; and the crime of apartheid (inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another racial group, with the intent to maintain that regime).

Israel forces killed, wounded, summarily executed, and administratively detained Palestinians, Hamas forces, and civilians without distinction. Israel forces intentionally destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, populated by Palestinians.

People around the world have been outraged by the scale of destruction and brutality displayed by the Israeli Zionist forces in their 50 days of sowing mayhem and terror against the people of Gaza. Even the most pro-Israeli apologists have been hard put to defend the bestial behaviour of the IDF.

Together with the world’s peoples who stand for justice, freedom and peace, we in the ILPS condemn in the strongest terms the recent brutal Zionist aggression against the people of Gaza, and demand the prosecution of Israeli and US officials for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The US and Israeli criminals cannot be allowed to commit their monstrous crimes with impunity and repeat their aggression as they please.

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