SOURCE: "Coalition against israeli apartheid"http://www.caiaweb.org/node/912
Submitted by kole on December 14, 2008 - 2:11am
For Immediate Distribution: Wednesday December 10, 2008 10:00 a.m. (Beirut time) - ICAI HOKOK, the Beirut based International Coalition against Impunity, is filing today with the Office of the Prosecution of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland a Complaint and Communication charging Israel and five of its leaders with egregious violations of International law and the Rome Statute stemming from Israel's actions its continuing blockade of Gaza.
Lebanese lawyer, May el Khansa arrived in The Hague on Tuesday December 9, leading an International delegation of Lawyers to complete the filing formalities and to meet with ICC Court officials.
American International Lawyer and Human Rights advocate, Dr. Franklin Lamb, who drafted the ICC Submission, explained today that HOKOK and its international affiliates have requested that the ICC conduct the investigatory phase of its work inside Gaza, citing the Rome Statute which allows the Court to 'Circuit' and travel to an area where Rome Statute crimes are alleged to be occurring.
"It is entirely appropriate", Lamb added, "that this Case on behalf of our dear brothers and sisters in Gaza and all people of good will in this Holy Season of Peace, is filed today, as December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We ask the International Community to join this Case and submit the results of their investigations of Gaza to the Court".
Lamb welcomed Monday's support from Geneva by American International Law Professor Richard Falk, the Special UN Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, and commended Falk for calling for Israel's crimes in Gaza to be Investigated and Adjudicated by the International Criminal Court.
In recent days the desperate plight of the civilian population of Gaza has been acknowledged by such respected international figures as the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Last week, Karen AbyZayd, who heads the UN relief effort in Gaza, offered first-hand confirmation of the desperate urgency and unacceptable conditions facing the civilian population of Gaza.
"Although many leaders have commented on the cruelty and unlawfulness of the Gaza blockade imposed by Israel, such a flurry of denunciations by normally cautious UN officials has not occurred on a global level since the heyday of South African apartheid", Lamb noted.
HOKOK President Khansa, currently at the ICC in The Hague, praised the UN Human Rights Council for its recently issued 99 Recommendations to Israel regarding its continuing siege of Gaza and Isreal's treatment of the 1.5 million Residents of Gaza facing increasingly severe shortages of food, medicine, electricity, and basic necessities of life.
Khansa noted a delegation from HOKOK hopes to brief former American President Jimmy Carter about the case during his current visit to Lebanon, pointing out that the HOKOK Submission charges Israeli with War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and elements of Genocide.
Khansa added that among the Israeli officials named in the HOKOK Submission to the International Criminal Court are:
1. Prime Minister, Ehud OLMERT.2. Defense Minister Ehud BARAK.3. Deputy Defense Minister Matan VILNAI.4. Minister of Internal Security Avraham DICHTER.5. Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gabi ASHKENZI.