ICC mulls probing Israel demolition of Palestinian homes in Jordan Valley

Middle East Monitor  /  August 13, 2021

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is examining the possibility of opening an investigation into Israel’s demolition of the homes of dozens of Palestinians in the village of Khirbet Humsa in the occupied Jordan Valley.

The investigation comes in response to a petition titled “Israel Practices a War Crime” filed by the Combatants for Peace organization; which includes former Israeli soldiers and Palestinians who are working together to end the Israeli occupation.

In its petition, the organization said: “While [Israeli] military forces are acting to expel the shepherd community in Khirbet Humsa, they were able to find creative solutions for settlers living in and near Firing Zone 903, which shows that the need for ’training’ is just an excuse to make demographic changes.”

Last month, the Israeli forces demolished homes and residential structures and confiscated the belongings of some 60 Palestinians in the village, situated in an area that the Israeli military declared as Firing Zone 903.

It was the third demolition campaign of its kind by Israeli occupation forces this year.

Last June, as many as 50 European politicians, including former prime ministers and ministers, denounced Israel’s attempts to accuse the ICC of anti-Semitism and obstruct it from carrying out its responsibilities.

In a joint letter, published by the Guardian, the signatories regretted the “escalating attacks on the ICC, its staff and civil society groups collaborating with it,” and affirmed their refusal to “undermine the ICC’s investigation of crimes in the occupied territories.”