Russell Tribunal Finds Israel Guilty Of Apartheid, Prosecution
Wednesday November 09, 2011 10:10 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine has ruled that Israel is guilty of Apartheid and Prosecution crimes, as its panel of jurists ruled that the Israeli actions against the Palestinians breach the prohibition of apartheid under International Law.
The tribunal held extensive talks for two days, listened to testimonies from expert witnesses, and unanimously determined that that the Israeli violations are defined under international law as apartheid, stating that “Israel subjects the Palestinians to institutionalized regime of domination, mounting to apartheid”.
They jurists also stated that Israel practices “inhumane acts” against the Palestinians, and implements an institutionalized regime of domination.
They also looked into Israel’s targeted killing policy, Israel’s excessive use of force against peaceful protestors, in addition to its torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians.
They stated said that the Israeli violations against the Palestinian in the occupied territories also extend to its violations against them wherever they reside, including those who are Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The Tribunal further stated that Israel is also involved in another crime against humanity; a crime of prosecution.
This includes systematic attacks, collective punishment (such as Israel’s siege on Gaza), targeting civilians during Israeli invasions and assaults, destruction of Palestinian homes and structures, the Annexation Wall in the West Bank, and the forced eviction and demolition of “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev.
The Tribunal itself is considered a court of people, and has no legal status, but it’s composed of persons with high expertise, and enjoys international respect. It is hoping to pass a message to the public and inform them about the reality of the situation in occupied Palestine, in addition to exerting pressure on world leaders and decision makers, who have failed to act until now, urging them to take strong stances against Israel’s violations.
It called on Israel to stop all of its acts of apartheid, to end the prosecution of the Palestinian people in addition to offering assurances that Tel Aviv will not repeat these violations.
The Tribunal further issued a call to the international community to fulfill its obligations and duties in order to ensure an end to Israel’s policies of apartheid and prosecution of the Palestinian people.
As for the jurists’ recommendations, they called on the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes committed by Israel, called on Palestine to comply with the Rome Statute of the International court, meaning that Palestine has the standing to bring a case against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
They also called on the United Nations General Assembly to hold a special session to investigate Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people, including the role of all organizations, individuals and corporations who assist Israel’s apartheid policies.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 13 October 2011, 119 states are party to the statute. Among other things, the statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure.
Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute the core international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression) in situations where states are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.
Thus, the majority of international crimes continue to go unpunished unless and until domestic systems can properly deal with them. Therefore, permanent solutions to impunity must be found at the domestic level.