TEN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS that operate in Israel have sent a ‘first of its kind’ joint letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan. The letter dated 27 December expresses support for his intention to visit Palestine, and for advancing the Court’s ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestine.
“We warmly welcome your statement earlier this month, that one of your objectives for 2023 would be to go to Palestine”, say the signatories. “Justice delayed is justice diminished; and while one waits for the long arc of the moral universe to finally bend towards that delayed justice, crimes continue to take place, emboldened by the prevailing impunity. Thus, a nimbler court is indeed key”, they added.
In the letter, the groups stress their commitment to helping the ICC move forward with its investigation: “It is our position that crimes,indeed have been and are being committed; that the Court has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute; and we are all committed to assisting your office in advancing the ongoing investigation of the Situation in Palestine… Israel has a record of preventing international access to the oPt: [Occupied Palestinian Territories] UN Commissions of Inquiry, Special Rapporteurs, OHCHR staff, international scholars and human rights advocates have all been, over the years, barred entry…This context makes your visit – and the granting of access to your office – ever more important.”
The signatories to the letter are;
Adalah, The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Combatants for Peace
HaMoked, Centre for the Defence of the Individual
Human Rights Defenders Fund
Parents against Child Detention
Physicians for Human Rights Israel
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
Torat Tzedek – Torah Of Justice
Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights.
* Read the full letter here
* Source: B’Tselem