Murder of Palestinians = UN Crimes Against HumanityMonday 21/03/2022

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 Hamas’s Crimes against Humanity was filed by our organization at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, on the 24th of July 2019. We argued that a full investigation of crimes committed within the Palestinian territories should be pursued, and a case should be lodged, against Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political wing of Hamas, for his role in the crimes against humanity committed through widespread and/or systematic acts of murder, imprisonment, and torture of civilians in the Gaza Strip. 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.

As leader of Hamas, Haniyeh has played a pivotal role in developing and enforcing Hamas’s extremist ideology and consistent human rights violations against the Gazan civilian population as well as others. Haniyeh knew of and was in a position to prevent the crimes against humanity that have been committed against the civilian population of Gaza; yet he has manifestly failed to do so. Haniyeh’s crimes have had and will continue to have devastating consequences on the entire population of Gaza and the rest of society in the surrounding region. These crimes benefit no one but Hamas’s leadership.

Haniyeh’s acts of widespread and systematic murder against the civilian population of Gaza constitute crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute). In addition, the crimes of torture committed by Hamas security forces and police officers also constitute crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

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

Yours sincerely,

Flavia Sevald, CEO,

Jerusalem Institute of Justice,


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