by Nikki Guttman
Petitioners: Amazingly, Hamas, which orchestrated this terror campaign against Israeli civilians, accuses Israel and IDF of using excessive force.
Fire caused by an incendiary kite near the Gaza Strip border
Israeli farmers from Gaza-vicinity communities flew to the Netherlands on Sunday to formally file a war-crimes complaint with the International Criminal Court against Hamas.
The complaint comes in the wake of ongoing attacks against Israeli communities by means of incendiary kites and balloons launched across the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The devices have sparked near-daily fires in fields near the border and inflicted significant financial damage to Israeli farmers.
The complaint was drafted by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, an NGO dedicated to "fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide." Along with the farmers, some 50,000 people from Israel have co-signed the complaint as plaintiffs.
Shurat Hadin also plans to set up an exhibit in front of the ICC headquarters with displays of "blown-up photos of their fields destroyed by the terrorist kite arson."
According to a statement issued by Shurat Hadin, the complaint "demonstrates that Hamas directed its members to attack Israeli agricultural communities and urged them 'to murder, slaughter, burn and never show them any mercy.'"
According to the statement, the complaint will also show that "beginning on March 30, 2018, persons under the direction of Hamas have continuously launched airborne incendiary devices at residential property where, according to Hamas, 'Allah willing, [the incendiary devices] will light up and burn fields and houses. … They will get to a place where it will burn a large area.'"
The farmers ask that the court prosecute Hamas leaders, including deputy political bureau chief Saleh Arouri and former political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal, for violating the Rome Statute, the international convention that serves as the legal basis on which the ICC was founded.
According to Shurat Hadin, Hamas' culpability is clearly evident since the Rome Statute "prohibits the murder of noncombatants, the destruction of civilian property for unlawful purposes, and the use of civilians as human shields."
According to Shurat Hadin president Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, "For many months, Israeli farmers have endured thousands of destructive arson attacks and rocket fire from Gaza, while the world stood by in silence. Amazingly, Hamas which has orchestrated this campaign of terror against Israeli civilians, accuses Israel and the IDF of utilizing excessive force in defending its civilians."
"We are demanding the ICC put an end to this hypocrisy and diligently investigate these Palestinian war crimes and bring the perpetrators in Gaza to justice," she said.
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