Violation of the Geneva Convention

JAN 6 – The increasing ferociousness and brutality of the Zionist regime has been laid bare during its ongoing attacks on Gaza.

The shameless air strikes, willful destruction of homes and property, and deliberate killings of innocent non-combatants, particularly women and children are indeed aimed at terrorizing the global population and give no prospect of an end to the violence in Palestine.

We condemn in no uncertain terms Israel’s ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s bombing campaign has now killed more than 500 Palestinians and injured over 2000 more, many of them innocent civilians clearly not responsible for the rocket attacks fired into Israel, the reason cited for the Zionist regime inhumane campaign and impending invasion.

The retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks is clearly not proportional to damage done to Israel.

Without a doubt, Israel’s action is a blatant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention – derived from Article 50 of the Hague Regulations: “No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they can not be regarded as jointly and severally responsible”.

In particular, Israel is committing grave violations of the international conventions against the use of collective punishment. Furthermore, Israel is committing violations of the Geneva Convention regarding the responsibility of an Occupying Power to protect an Occupied Population. The basic disproportionate nature of this recent military attack in itself is a violation of International Laws of Engagement.

While the actions of both Hamas and the Israeli government do not reflect their citizens’ desire for peace and will only lead to further death and destruction, we are extremely concerned that the global community’s actions are itself far from creating a path to peace. In fact, we are not doing much when all indications are that the fighting will further develop into increased hatred and mistrust between the Israelis and Palestinians and intensify the already volatile issues of the entire Middle East.

The world community must not stop at merely issuing condemnations and calling for public rallies and boycotts of Israel. We must end all forms of brutalities as we usher in 2009. And we must do it swiftly.

We call on the global community, in particular the United States of America, to immediately use their influence to stop this campaign of terror. We recognize that without the military and political support of the US government and the hard earned money of the American taxpayers, Israel would not be as emboldened to continue their attacks.

The US direct and indirect complicity in this war cannot be denied.

We are extremely appalled at the OIC’s inaction and failure to vigorously urge the enforcement of International Law. Lamentably, the OIC’s inaction and weakness is a reflection of the sad state in which the Muslim World finds itself today.

In this case, we support the call made by the Islamic Human Rights Commission for the United Nations General Assembly to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) under Article 22 of the United Nations Charter.

We also urge the international community to press for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the massacre, and indict and prosecute the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege for violations of International Criminal Law based on the provisions stipulated under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

There is no denying that the ensuing attacks on Gaza are also a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We therefore appeal to all Malaysians to do their parts to ease the predicament of the Palestinian people by contributing to humanitarian organisations, signing petitions against the Israeli attacks, joining peace rallies and, for Muslims, performing “Hajat Prayer” to bring a quick end to the sufferings of the Palestinians.

Azril Mohd Amin

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