- Created: Wednesday, 14 July 2010 20:24
- Written by Newcastle FRFI
Israel and Britain on trial for War Crimes. Newcastle 3rd July
On Saturday 3rd of July; the Palestine Action Group put Israel on Trial for War Crimes in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The street theatre took place on Northumberland Street; outside Marks and Spencer; the biggest British corporate sponsor of Israel which sits of the British-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and states “furthering the economic development of Israel” as one of its aims in “the M+S way”. The people’s court began at 12 noon as witnesses gave reports of war crimes committed from the establishment of Israel as a racist settler state in 1948; to the recent murderous attack on the Free Gaza flotilla on the 31st of May 2010. Although Israel ignored the charges of War crimes; Israel was found guilty of 8 charges which included;
- The construction of illegal settlements in West Bank and Jerusalem. This is illegal under UN law and amounts to the theft of land and racist annexation. Up to late December 2008, Israel had built 233 colonial settlements in the Occupied Territories, which are now home to 497,500 settlers.
- The routine use of collective punishment, imprisonment without trial, torture and assassinations. Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained. There are currently 312 Palestinian children in Israeli custody; fifty- five percent of these were arrested for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.
- The illegal construction of an apartheid wall around the West bank; Under Article of the international convention on the suppression and punishment of the crime of Apartheid (1979), the wall divides population on the basis of race and ethnicity and discriminates against residents in the west bank to benefit illegal Israeli settlers and thus complies with the definition of “Apartheid”.
- The intentional destruction of Palestinian economy, agriculture and livelihood. After the January 2009 “operation cast lead”; 22,000 buildings in the Gaza strip were partially or completely destroyed and 300,000 people were left without running water; Gazan agriculture was decimated with financial losses estimated at $200 million. Israeli forces deliberately destroyed greenhouses, egg incubators, wells, irrigation systems and farmland.
- The 22 day massacre of over 1,400 residents of Gaza January 2009 which left over 5000 injured. Israeli forces used UN prohibited White Phosphorus and DIME explosives and repeatedly targeted schools and hospitals.
- 3 year siege of Gaza which has caused massive suffering; preventing fuel building materials and other essentials from entering Gaza and contributing to many unnecessary deaths. Since 2007; Israel has closed all 5 border crossings leaving three quarters of a million people dependent on UN food aid which is not always allowed to cross the border.
- The Attacks on Gaza freedom flotilla on the 31st of May 2010, when Israeli Commando forces illegally stormed the freedom flotilla in international waters with live ammunition, sound grenades and tear gas leaving 9 civilians dead; many more missing and over 60 injured.
Britain was also charged for the war crimes of supporting Israel’s establishment and funding and arming Israel throughout its existence. British export licences granted for arms sales to Israel were worth £11.5 million in 2004, £22.5 million in 2005 and £24 million in the first six months of 2008.