Thursday, 28 September. 2023
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

A Belgian senate delegation visited Lebanon's memorial in the town of Qana Sunday, January 19th, 2002. The delegation recommended that the families of the victims resulting from Israeli shelling of a UN post in 1996 are eligible to sue Israel over the deaths, which they called "war crimes." Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was the Minister of Defense at the time and ordered the operation (Reuters).

On Thursday April 18th, 1996, Israeli artillery targeted a battalion of UN peacekeepers in which five hundred displaced Palestinian refugees had taken shelter. Over one hundred civilians, mostly women, children and elderly, were killed in cold blood when Israel began fierce shelling of Fijian headquarters.

Under the provisions of their constitution, Belgian courts may try anyone and have jurisdiction in cases of crimes committed against humanity. Vincent van Quickenborne of the Belgian senate delegation stated that the suit (against Peres) "would probably be more likely to succeed, because in this case the Israeli army is directly involved."

A group of Palestinian Belgian citizens have launched a case against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for crimes he had committed against humanity over the 1982 massacres in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. An appeal court is expected to rule this month on whether the suit can continue.

Israel's current Prime Minister and Foreign Minister may possibly stand trial over crimes against humanity at the Belgian court. Should the investigations be carried out comprehensively and consistently, a number of former and current Israeli Ministers could be convicted for "war crimes." Israeli army generals who had acted against humanity at one point or another are key decision makers in the current Israeli government.

Israel's blood-tainted history of massacres and war crimes against the Palestinian people should be fully acknowledged by the international community; Israel must be held accountable for the atrocities committed against the Palestinians.

Ironically, Peres had received the Nobel Peace Prize shortly before ordering the murderous crimes in Qana; should he not face the same fate as Milosevic, rather than be praised the "dovish" figure in Israel's hawkish government?

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