Jerusalem Salhiah family to bring home demolition case to ICC

Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists gather in support of the Salhiya family in Sheikh Jarrah (Ahmad Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 21, 2022

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Salhiah family of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem have confirmed that they will be taking their case to the International Court of Justice (ICC). Their case is one of several to be brought court by Bindmans Solicitors partnering with the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), London.

Last week, the Salhiah family were attacked by Israeli occupation forces, beaten, arrested and detained. Their home was also demolished.

Although East Jerusalem is illegally occupied under international law, the ICJP said it has witnessed “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly,’ amounts to a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and is considered a war crime according to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

The ICJP statement noted, “New avenues for legal address have opened in recent years for families like the Salhiah family. In 2019, the International Criminal Court Prosecutor announced the opening of an investigation respecting the situation in Palestine covering crimes committed since June 2014, within the jurisdiction of the court. In 2021, the Pre-trial Chamber of the ICC concluded that the court’s territorial jurisdiction extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (Gaza, West Bank, including East Jerusalem).”

Faced with the prospect of indictment, Israeli leaders have been stepping up efforts to deter ICC officials by threatening and smearing them with the “anti-Semitic” label. Following his recent meeting with Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, it was reported that President Abbas had ordered the committee collecting evidence against Israel in preparation for submission to the International Criminal Court “to stop its work at this stage.”

Today press release revealed that Bindmans’ partner, Tayab Ali, will be speaking to the Salhiah family next week in order to finalise details to send to the ICC.

Meanwhile ICJP Director, Crispin Blunt MP, said:

‘The cases in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood highlight a century of historic injustice meted out to the Palestinian people individually and collectively. For the Palestinian and Israeli peoples’ sake, and our humanity’s sake, the Sheikh Jarrah case needs to be a turning point where justice and our common humanity starts to count for more than people’s insecurities driven by fear. ICJP is proud and privileged to stand alongside this family and other Palestinian victims against Israeli injustice.’