Mahmoud Sarsak, the Gazan footballer who was released from an Israeli jail after 6 months on hunger strike, finally made it to the UK last week. On Friday he joined activists and comedian Alexei Sayle in the pouring rain outside the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, where the UEFA Congress was taking place, there to protest at UEFA’S decision to hold its Under 21 finals in Israel. Reporting from Press TV:
Further to the Veolia case, a Dutch company has been investigated for 3 years, accused of complicity in Israel’s occupation and war crimes. There has not been a conviction but one can reasonably hope this sends a warning to those who would sign a contract with Israel.
I met last week with Lauren, who works for the UN in Gaza and has just written a report on ‘Accountability’ which shows how Israel makes it virtually impossible for Palestinian victims to receive justice in the Israeli courts. One example: if you wish to file for a civil case in an Israeli court, it costs the equivalent of USD 8,000 per case. And this has to be paid by each individual claimant. Thus the cost for the Al – Samouni family, who lost 21 members in Cast Lead, with 41 injured, in a single incident, totalled approximately USD 330,000. Where cases are dismissed, claimants are charged with the State’s defence costs, which are taken from the court guarantee.
Another obstacle is the requirement that powers of attorney from Gazan clients to Israeli lawyers must be authenticated in a face to face meeting in Israel or at least in the presence of an Israeli representative. The access restrictions on Gazans entering Israel also make this impossibly difficult.
Thirdly, the State of Israel is exempted from any civil liability for ‘’an act done in the course of a military operation by the IDF’’. Various amendments and rulings have expanded the definition of a military operation.
‘Accountability’ is also a lead topic for Betselem, the Israeli Human Rights organisation.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail reports that John Kerry is proposing a 3 billion package to ‘revitalise’ the Palestinian economy
There is a letter to be written here, pointing out that the Palestinians might prefer justice and the rule of law to money. Without the Occupation they could generate their own economy and tourism. And perhaps some of this cash could be used to help the Samounis and those like them to access the Israeli courts.
The Israeli investigation begun 13 years ago into the shooting of 12 year old Muhammad Al -Durra at the start of the second intifada has concluded that there is no evidence he was killed by Israeli gunfire, indeed he may still be alive and well…..
But in the Lords the government minister at least had to acknowledge that 43 children were killed in Gaza last year:
Apologies, apologies, my last letter was inaccurate as to the date of the LDFP Palestinian supper at the Maramia cafe: it is Tuesday 25 June. Any more takers?
Secretary, Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine