2A SHORT HISTORY• The occupation of Palestine began 65 years ago.• In 1948 at the massacre of Deir Yasin, 250 peoplewere murdered.• 800 000 Palestinians became refugees when 531villages were destroyed.• This led to the Arab-Israeli Wars in 1948,1967 and1973.• Between 1949 and 1967 the Israeli armed forcescarried out over 40 military attacks on Palestinianterritories.• Not one village, not one tribe should be left - JosephWeitz, Head of Jewish Agencies ColonisationDepartment.
3THE ROME STATUTE• Treaty adopted in Rome to establish the ICC, 17 July1998.• Thus far ratified by 110 countries.• The USA & Israel are not signatories.• SA legislature have drafted the ICC Act 27 of 2002(implementation of the Rome Statute).• The Act was ratified and accepted into SA domesticLaw and has been in effect since July 2002.• The guiding provisions for jurisdiction are enshrinedin chapter 2.
4OPERATION CAST LEAD• 27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009.• Over 1400 Palestinians murdered , 40% of whichwere women and children.• 3 Israelis civilians and 9 Israeli soldiers were killed byfriendly fire.• The IDF acted illegally by using White Phosphorus,Dime Bombs, Nail Bombs, Drones, Flechettes.• The IDF targeted schools and UN shelters,ambulances, hospitals and government buildings.• The IDF destroyed places of worship and targetedchildren.
5WHAT IS THE GAZA DOCKET?• The Gaza Docket is a body of evidence which was collectedover 8 months by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and the MediaReview Network.• On 3 August 2009 a joint request was made by the PSA andMRN to the National Director of Public Prosecution ( NDPP), anorgan of state and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) andthe Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations (DPCI), toinvestigate and if appropriate prosecute in South Africaindividuals involved in war crimes and crimes against humanityduring Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.• The Docket was sent to: Office of the State President, Ministryof Police, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation,Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ministry ofSafety and Security and the Office of the Commissioner ofPolice.
6EVIDENCE IN THE GAZADOCKET?• Reports from various respected international organisations• Affidavits in excess of 3500 pages.• Reports by medical practitioners working in Gaza duringOperation Cast Lead.• Compelling and comprehensive justification of certain namedindividuals for international crimes under South Africa’s ICCAct.• Israel’s laws and policies in the occupied territories fit thedefinition of ‘apartheid’ given by the International Convention onthe Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.• Israel’s laws and policies and systematic implementation thereofconstitutes a crime against humanity as envisaged in the RomeStatute.• Pictorial and video evidence including footage from Al Jazeera.
7ISSUES COVERED BY THEGAZA DOCKET• The commission of war crimes.• The commission of crimes against humanity.• The crime of Apartheid: The authoritiesshould assess whether Israel is practicing aform of colonialism and apartheid in itstreatment of Palestinians.• The investigation of foreign and localindividuals who have participated in thecommission of the above crimes duringOperation Cast Lead.
8TZIPI LIVNI• An Israeli politician who currently serves as Minister of Justiceof Israel. She previously served as a minister in the Israelicabinet from 2001 to 2009, most notably serving as Minister ofForeign Affairs from 2006 to 2009.• She has served as a lieutenant in theIDF and in the eliteMossad unit responsible for Operation Wrath of God also knownas ‘Bayonet’, in the 1980s.• During Operation Case Lead she was quoted as saying "Israelhas been supplying comprehensive humanitarian aid to theGaza Strip... and has even been stepping this up by the day”.Israel would later allow a daily three-hour truce during theoffensive to enable aid to flow through a humanitarian corridor.• She declared that the 2009 Gaza military offensive had"restored Israels deterrence ... Hamas now understands thatwhen you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild and this isa good thing."
9LIEUTENANT COLONELDAVID BENJAMIN• Jewish South African by birth.• Studied law in SA.• Worked for IDF for the past 17 years.• Served in Israeli Military Advocates Corps as a legal advisorduring Operation Cast Lead..• Was in SA during August 2009.• Addressed Limmud Conventions at various venues around SA• Reported to have said: ‘the Gaza campaign was a long time inthe works and we were intimately involved in the planning.’/ ‘approval of targets which can be attacked, methods of warfare -it all has gone through us.’• Thus should be investigated for crimes.
10PROF. JOHN DUGARD• A South African professor of international law. He has served asa judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice and as aSpecial Rapporteur for both the former UN Commission onHuman Rights and the International Law Commission.• “For 40 years of the political organs of the UN states andindividuals have accused Israel of consistent , systematic andgross violation of human rights and humanitarian law in theoccupied Palestinian territories. In 2004 the judicial organ of theUN in its advisory opinion, affirmed that Israel’s actions in thenoccupied territory, do indeed violate fundamental norms ofhuman rights and humanitarian law and cannot be justified ofgrounds of self defences or necessity.”
11PROVISIONS OF SCHEDULE 1 OFICC ACT 27 OF 20021. CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY:-includes the systematic attacks on civilian populations based onracial, ethnic, political,religious or gender intentionally causingmental and physical suffering-the crime of apartheid.2. WAR CRIMES:- willful killing, torture, injury not justified by military necessity-intentionally attacking units or vehicles involved in humanitarianassistance or peace keeping missions.-attacking undefended homes and villages which are notmilitary objectives
12OUR TEAM AT THE INTERNATIONALCRIMINAL COURT• The first time an African state has indicted a non-African statefor war crimes.• Professor John Dugard settled the Gaza Docket and secured aninvite from ICC for the Applicants’ legal team to meet the ChiefPublic Prosecutor, Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo.• The mission found;– Israel violated international humanitarian law– The IDF committed war crimes– Israel committed possible crimes against humanity– Israel used white phosphorus and high explosive artillery shellsIsrael deliberately attacked civilian– Israel’s disproportionate use of force to deliberately punish ,humiliate and terrorise the civilian population.
13POINTS TO CONSIDER• Israel refused to cooperate with the Fact FindingMission.• Israel refused the mission entry into Israel and theWest Bank.• Therefore the meetings had sittings in Geneva toallow all parties the opportunity to address themission.• A coalition of 350 European and Arab civil societyorganisations has filed a lawsuit with the ICC againstIsrael over war crimes in Gaza.