Middle East Monitor / May 10, 2022
The Palestinian Authority called on Monday for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel’s plan to expel the residents of twelve Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta, to the south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron/Al-Khalil.
“The forcible displacement of citizens by the occupying power, Israel, in Masafer Yatta, and the approval of the demolition of twelve villages there, is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” PA Minister of Justice Mohammad Shalaldeh told journalists. “Israel should be held to account for this.”
Shalaldeh called for the ICC Prosecutor, Karim Khan, to open an investigation into all of these violations immediately. Moreover, he said, Israel should be forced to implement all relevant UN resolutions, especially Resolution 2334 regarding illegal settlements.
“The international community should act, particularly in terms of justice represented by the ICC, to hold accountable and prosecute those who commit these war crimes and crimes against humanity, and to file cases against them, starting with the Israeli prime minister all the way down to settlers and soldiers,” said the minister. “Our people have the right, based on international law, to resist in matters related to the principle of the right to self-determination, to end the [Israeli] occupation.”
The PA official added that as part of his ministry’s duty to help the citizens of Masafer Yatta, it will file legal cases against the occupying power and settlers in order to hold Israel legally responsible for its actions. His comments followed the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold an earlier decision to demolish the villages in Masafer Yatta and displace thousands of Palestinians in order to build illegal settlements for Jewish settlers.
The Israeli move coincides with the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when the Zionist terror gangs forced more than 700,000 Palestinians out of their homes, villages and cities to create the occupation state of Israel. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israel is ongoing, as the Masafer Yatta decision demonstrates.