Stop the Wall has recently joined 190 Palestinian and non-Palestinian human rights organizations in signing a letter sent by Sheikh Jarrah families to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The letter, which was sent to Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the ICC, calls on her to urgently include the looming ethnic cleansing of 28 Palestinian families from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Occupied East Jerusalem.
This calls comes as part of the ongoing open investigations of Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
Specifically, the families called on her Office to include as part of the investigation the related war crimes and crimes against humanity, including forcible transfer, appropriation of property, persecution, apartheid, and other inhumane acts causing great suffering or serious injury to inter alia mental health arising from their forced evictions.
The letter outlines that 87 Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah face imminent forcible expulsion, including four families by May 2nd, 2021 following the ruling of Israeli courts in favor of eviction lawsuits carried out by a settler organization.
The families also outlined in the letter that the looming expulsion would be their second or third one as they were expelled from their homes in 1948 when Israel was created. Since then, the letter underlines that Israel has been denying them their inalienable right to return to their homes.
The letter also asserted that the targeted families for Israeli ethnic cleansing have been enduring a lengthy, exhausting, and unaffordable legal struggle to challenge the eviction lawsuits filed against us by settler
organisations in Israeli courts since 1972. Given the discriminatory and transparent nature
of the Israeli legal system as applied in the occupied territory, the families are systematically denied
access to justice or any effective remedy.
As part of the investigations, the letter calls on the ICC prosecutor to:
- Publicly condemn the imminent forced evictions of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and urgently investigate this case within the Situation of Palestine;
- Warn those perpetrators most responsible for the conduct in question that their policies and actions in occupied East Jerusalem, which aim at manipulating the city’s demographic character in favour of Israeli-Jewish domination, may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court;
- Operating under Part 9 of the Rome Statute, call upon Jordan and Palestine, as ICC States Parties, to cooperate with your Office in providing any documents relevant to the investigation of the imminent forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah; and
- Take any appropriate action, within the confines of the exercise of your mandate under the Rome Statute, to prevent the Palestinian protected population in the Karm Al-Ja’ouni area of Sheikh Jarrah from being displaced and dispossessed for the second time.
Please see full letter and the signing organizations here.