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Monday, December 5, 2016

Chile court rejects war crimes suit against Israel justices

Chile court rejects war crimes suit against Israel justices

[JURIST] A court in Chile on Saturday rejected a war crimes lawsuit filed against three justices on the Israeli Supreme Court [official website] who authorized the construction of a security wall for the Israeli settlements in the West bank. The lawsuit [JURIST report] was filed in Chile under universal jurisdiction principles because the impacted landowners [Times of Israel report] lived in Chile. However the court rejected [Ma'an report] the lawsuit in part due to the fact that Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute [text, PDF] and as a result is not subjected to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The Palestine Federation of Chile [advocacy website] helped bring the lawsuit [press release, in Spanish] and has promised to appeal the decision to the supreme court of Chile.
Recent conflicts between Israel and Palestine [HRW backgrounder] over settlements in the occupied West Bank have raised concerns over possible human rights violations. In March the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said [JURIST report] that the office is concerned about the apparent extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian man in the West Bank. In January Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged [JURIST report] businesses to cease operations in Israel settlements. In August 2015 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both sides of the conflict [JURIST report] to reconcile and move towards peace after an attack occurred in the West Bank village of Duma, where Jewish extremists allegedly set fire to a Palestinian home while the family slept. Last year HRW alleged [HRW report] that Israeli settlement farmers in the occupied West Bank are using Palestinian child laborers in dangerous conditions in violation of international laws.

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