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Israeli farmers file war-crimes charges against Hamas leaders

A group of Israeli farmers arrived at the International Criminal Court at The Hague to file a war crimes’ complaint against top Hamas officials for arson kite terrorism along the Gaza border.

View of a fire at an Israeli wheat field caused from kites flown by Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border on June 5, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
View of a fire at an Israeli wheat field caused from kites flown by Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border on June 5, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

A group of Israeli farmers arrived at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague on Monday to file a war-crimes complaint against top Hamas officials for arson kite terrorism along the Gaza border.

Drafted by the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, the complaint called on ICC prosecutors to investigate war crimes committed by top Hamas leaders Khaled Mashal, Zaher Jabarin and Saleh Arouri, and was signed by 50,000 petitioners.

The farmers asked the ICC to look into orders by the three men directing adherents to engage in terrorism with the use of incendiary kites, which set fire to almost 2,300 acres of land and caused millions of dollars in damage to agricultural lands, crops and residential property.

The farmers also staged a protest outside the ICC offices featuring the farm tractors they use to extinguish their burning fields. The group will display an exhibit of blown-up photos of the devastation left by the burning kites.

“These farmers and their families have endured the daily barrage of incendiary devices launched from Gaza, as well as the trauma of the incessant attempts to invade Israeli communities and murder civilian men, women and children in their homes,” wrote Shurat HaDin.

They said an ICC investigation would find the accused in “blatant violation of the Rome Statute (Articles 8 (2) (c) (viii) and 28), which prohibits the murder of non-combatants, the destruction of civilian property for unlawful purposes, and the use of civilians as human shields.”

They also noted that Hamas intentionally “transported civilians to the border for the purpose of burning 10,000 tires and throwing gasoline bombs, as well as openly issued propaganda videos advising civilians that the purpose of burning tires was to mask the movements of its armed militants, who had been directed to murder Israeli civilians.”

In addition to the fires, Hamas and other Gazans have launched 250 rockets or mortars at Israeli civilian areas, according to Shurat HaDin.

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