RAMALLAH, Tuesday, July 23, 2019 (WAFA) - Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) today called in letters to world foreign ministers to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an immediate investigation into what he described as war crimes committed Israeli officials.
He also called for the support of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in implementing her mandate under UN Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 (2016) to issue a database of the companies working and complicit in illegal Israeli settlements and to strive for international protection of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
This came in identical letters sent by Erekat and addressed to the foreign ministers of the European Union, Russia, China, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, Canada, Australia, Japan and other countries explaining the systematic and illegal measures of the occupying power, including the illegal annexation of Jerusalem since 1967, aimed at abolishing Palestinian existence, creating a majority of Jewish settlers and expanding the colonial settlement project at the expense of Palestinian rights.
He explained the unilateral policies taken by the occupation authority to expel Palestinians from the city, including confiscation of land, resources, identification papers, revocation of residency status, rejection of family reunification, diving land, prohibition of Palestinian construction and other illegal measures. He stressed that the policy of forced displacement, home demolitions, displacement of protected Palestinians are an integral part of this policy, which is flagrantly contrary to the rules of international law.
Erekat briefed the foreign ministers on the serious Israeli escalation in the town of Sur Baher in occupied East Jerusalem and the demolition of at least 10 Palestinian buildings, including some 70 apartments, and the displacement of 24 Palestinians, including 14 children. "The Israeli occupation forces, with the support of the Israeli Supreme Court, have ordered the demolition of these buildings using a security pretext, but the demolitions in Sur Baher are another example of Israel‘s illegal policies and practices aimed at eliminating the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and defending the existence of the Israeli occupation.”
He stressed that, despite repeated calls on the international community to intervene to stop these demolitions and the resulting forced displacement and countless Israeli violations against the Palestinian people under occupation, Israel nevertheless continue to escape punishment time and time again.”
He added, "The international community has not only failed to stop the demolitions and forced displacement in Sur Bahir but also failed to hold Israel accountable for its continued violations of international law. Israel‘s actions are not only serious violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention but are war crimes pursuant to the Rome Statute of the ICC and therefore we urge you to comply with your legal and political obligations and to intervene urgently to stop the committing of internationally recognized crimes in the occupied State of Palestine."