52 Palestinians Tortured = UN Crimes Against HumanityMonday 28/03/2022

Jerusalem Institute of Justice- Submission to The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East  Jerusalem, and Israel


Dear Honorable Commission,

We, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, are a not-for-profit human rights organization, with Special Consultative Status at the UN Economic and Social Council, fighting to promote human rights, defend democracy, and improve the overall quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Due to our hope of ever-lasting peace in the region, we find it of the utmost importance to address your call for submissions of relevant information and documentation to the mandate of the Commission.

The attached report concerning the Crimes against Humanity committed against Palestinian citizens by the Palestinian Authority (PA) was filed by our organization at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on the 20th of February 2019, together with the report on Mahmoud Abbas’s Crimes against Humanity. The report includes testimonies of 52 Palestinian civilians who have suffered the grave atrocities of arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and murder by the PA during the time period of 1991 to 2004. We argued that a full investigation of crimes against humanity should be pursued, and a case should be lodged, against Mahmoud Abbas, as President of the PA, for his role in the murder, torture, and unlawful imprisonment of innocent Palestinian civilians. Following this communication, and others, an investigation of the “Situation in Palestine” was commenced by the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC on the 3rd of March 2021. The submission of this report is in accordance with the COI’s mandate to collect evidence and information of abuses of international human rights law and identify those responsible.

On November 11, 2018, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal and upheld the district court ruling that found the PA liable for unlawful imprisonment in a precedent-setting ruling and ordered the PA to compensate the 52 plaintiffs. The victims, suspected by the PA of “collaboration with Israel,” suffered extreme physical and emotional trauma that has caused numerous long-term damages. The Supreme Court found all testimonies reliable. As President of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas has played a pivotal role in exercising effective authority and control over the imprisonment, torture, and murder of these Palestinian civilians, in furtherance of a state policy designed to deter resistance towards his Government. During his time in power, Abbas has directed or allowed these crimes to be committed against these Palestinians and many more. Abbas’s acts of arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and murder against these Palestinians and many more constitute crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

We urge the commission to look into these violations of Human Rights committed by the Palestinian Authority and include them in their report due to be presented in the Human Rights Council’s June regular session.

Yours sincerely,

Flavia Sevald, CEO,

Jerusalem Institute of Justice,


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