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international law

  • The return of punitive home demolitions

    Israel orders the demolition of the family home of a man who has only been charged, and not convicted, of murder. A government official says the policy is being reinstated to 'level the playing field' with Palestinians, while human rights groups say the practice only harms innocents. The Israeli government announced that it will return to demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected and convicted of involvement in terrorism and other violence. The first demolition order was issued against the family home of a man accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and wounding his family earlier this year. Israeli…

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  • Beyond mission creep: Why Operation Brother’s Keeper isn’t working

    Eleven days later, Israel’s latest operation has been a costly, disruptive rampage that seemingly aims to incite rather than stabilize. By Julie M. Norman Israel’s "Operation Brother’s Keeper" is not working. It is also exploitative, legally questionable, and strategically absurd. Launched 11 days ago, the operation has yielded no new information regarding the location or well-being of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teenagers who were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank last Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Hamas is responsible for the abduction, yet no evidence has been made public, and…

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  • A pre-publication breakdown of Im Tirzu's latest 'report'

    Im Tirtzu is about to publish a new 'report.' It’s already on the Internet, but they haven’t yet started publicizing it, so get ready to read about it here for the first time. Let’s start with the only new and refreshing aspect of this report. This is the first time that anyone has issued a report in the format of a children’s book. I want to congratulate Im Tirtzu for this stylistic breakthrough, and to congratulate them on their new graphic artist. However, other than this stylistic innovation, the report is regrettably a pack of lies and mostly a recycling…

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  • A rights-based discourse is the best way to fight dispossession

    A solution to the ongoing displacement of Palestinians cannot be based on fruitless negotiations, but rather on the full implementation of international law. By Amjad Alqasis By the end of 2013, an estimated 7.4 million (66 percent) of the global Palestinian population of 11.2 million was made up of forcibly displaced persons. This week we mark 66 years since the Nakba, the most central part of the story of how Palestinians became refugees. However, we can point to five distinct periods of forced displacement that transformed the Palestinians into the largest, longest-standing unresolved refugee case in the world today. That…

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  • NGO Monitor steps up the absurdity of its attacks

    A lie travels around the world while the truth looks for a Wi-Fi connection. Sometimes, it finds it. This blog's favorite fibber organization, NGO Monitor - you may remember them from such classic favorites as distributing Hasbara lies about the UN Human Rights Commission, using a Trojan horse inside Wikipedia, as well as just stupid negligence - pounced on the tunnel that was found this week near Ein Hashlosha. The organization quickly took to twitter, saying "So, #Hamas terror tunnel was built w/concrete from #Israel, sent b/c of UN & NGO pressure. Thanks @Gisha_Access". Lies have the speed advantage: in a…

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  • How Israel increases its odds of international prosecution

    When the criminal records of IDF war criminals are expunged, the government puts them in danger of being tried abroad. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week Yesh Din published a new report,"Lacuna: War Crimes in Israeli Law and Court Martial Rulings." It deals with the way the military justice system handles offenses that are in effect war crimes. One of the issues discussed is the criminal records of soldiers convicted of offenses of this kind. In 2011 the Knesset enacted Amendment No. 61 of the Military Justice Act. It's pretty complicated, but can be summed up by…

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  • Resource: War crimes in Israeli law

    Israel has not yet enacted a law defining war crimes, and the military courts judge soldiers who violate the rules of law according to “regular” offenses. Yesh Din's new report presents the need for Israeli legislation on this subject. The approach currently applied in Israel argues that ordinary domestic legislation is adequate for the prosecution of defendants for actions constituting war crimes. The report reviews international models for legislation criminalizing war crimes and discusses the existing provisions in Israeli law, the policy of the military prosecution, and the rulings of military courts. Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to…

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  • If this isn't apartheid, then what is it?

    We do not need to find identical practices to those prevailing in pre-1994 South Africa in order to determine whether apartheid exists elsewhere. By Ran Greenstein For a few years now, opinion pieces and articles in the South African and Israeli press have shown confusion regarding the meaning of the comparison between Israel and apartheid South Africa. How can we sort out the conceptual mess that afflicts the debates around the issue? First, let us examine the meaning of apartheid. The term defines the race-based regime of political domination and social marginalisation that ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Alongside…

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  • Political solution or not, the bottom line is equal rights for all

    The military law applied to Palestinians must provide rights and protections no less favorable than those afforded to Israeli citizens living in the settlements. By Gerard Horton Last month, Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel announced the approval of 1,200 more houses for settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, adding to the 520,000 already living there, including Mr. Ariel himself. Only time will tell, but this announcement, like the many that proceeded, may one day prove to contain a fatal sting in the tail for the idea of Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority. For there is…

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  • Justice denied: Prolonged occupation and Palestinian child detainees

    With a political process that consistently demands peace without justice, Palestinian children living in the occupied territories have been denied justice at almost every turn. By Brad Parker Israel seldom holds its officials and individual perpetrators accountable for violations of Palestinian human rights, particularly against children. The resulting impunity grants Israeli forces a license to expand, rather than curb, violations systemic to Israel’s 46-year-old military occupation. Just last week, five-year-old Wadi’a Maswadeh, a Palestinian boy from the West Bank city of Hebron, was detained for nearly two hours after reportedly throwing a stone at a passing Israeli settler car. Notwithstanding…

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  • Israeli plan to offload Eritreans: An affront to international law

    Israel’s supposed plan to send tens of thousands of Eritrean asylum seekers to an unspecified African country raises enormous humanitarian, human rights and political concerns. The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees recognizes that: …the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries, and that a satisfactory solution of a problem of which the United Nations has recognized the international scope and nature cannot therefore be achieved without international co-operation… This is another way of saying that countries bordering conflict zones – often poor and unstable themselves – tend to endure the primary burden of…

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  • Investigating Gaza flotilla deaths would sacrifice International Criminal Court's legitimacy

    The violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara simply does not stack up to other violent mass executions of passive civilians. Referring a relatively minor incident to the ICC in the context of a highly politically charged conflict would confirm the suspicions that the court is no more than a political wolf camouflaged in the neutral trappings of criminal justice. By Noam Wiener On May 14, the Union of Comoros, represented by Turkish attorneys, sent the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) a referral requesting it commence an investigation into Israeli conduct, due to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The…

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  • The quiet population transfer that dares not speak its name

    A quiet phenomenon has been taking place over the last decade: the quiet dispossession of the Palestinians from their lands, which in turn increases their despair and leads them to abandon their villages. All this is done in our name and with our funds, but the government makes certain Israelis remain ignorant of the facts. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Yesh Din published one of most comprehensive reports, The Road to Dispossession (which has its own mini-site), dealing with the illegal outpost Adei Ad. The outpost sits between four Palestinian villages and robs them of their lands. The information we gathered…

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