Should the ICC Lay Charges on the Israelis for the Palestinian Genocide? Israelis and Palestinians have been involved in an everlasting war for over 100 years, and is considered to be one of the longest ongoing conflicts in history. But how, and why did this conflict begin, and why has there been no solution? The most recent political conflict was triggered in the early 20th century when holocaust surviving Jews fled from Europe and wanted to establish a homeland nation which was located in a predominantly Muslim and Arab territory under the Ottoman Empire and then later British Empire. The Arabs declined the Israelis request to form the homeland, and strongly believe the land is rightfully theirs. The United Nations had planned to give both parties a part of the land, but this scheme failed and thus began a series of events plagued by wars over the right of their respective state territories. Most of today’s issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians are predominantly due to the war in 1948 and in 1967. The 1948 war resulted in Israel gaining control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, both locations at the time were populated by Palestinians. The Jews had taken over approximately 78% of the land and the remaining fell into the hands of Egypt and Jordan. By 1967, the Israeli army had absorbed and taken complete control of the Palestinian state with additional land from the Egyptians and Jordanians. Furthermore, as a result of war thousands of Palestinian casualties were reported. At the end of the war, the Israelis had forcefully removed more than 430,000 Palestinians from their homes to acquire more land for themselves in an effort to build their state. To this day, the Palestinians still battle against the Israelis to protect their land from being forcibly conquered. This pushback against the Israelis and has resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent Palestinians, forcing them out of their homes, many are fleeing persecution in an attempt to seek refuge and safe haven in Lebanon and Jordan. Since the 1967 war, the Israeli army has detained over 800,000 Palestinian civilians, thousands of whom have been deemed “criminals” due to the rightful protest to protect themselves, their homes and land from being seized unlawfully. Among those unlawfully criminalized, and imprisoned are women and children who have been accused of “disrespecting” Israeli military officials for protecting themselves from physical harm and police brutality. To further understand the ill treatment of Palestinians, criminalization and false imprisonment of Palestinians have been done so without a trial. The International Criminal Court usually makes an attempt to investigate and try persons who have committed serious crimes which are a concern to international communities. There are three major violations that fall into the jurisdiction of the ICC, this includes genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The ICC will go to the extent of stepping in to investigate a situation when the national jurisdiction is either unable or unwilling to do so. This act of power is the complementarity principle adopted by the Rome Statute. It is clearly shown that the Palestinian nation is unable to go through the process of any investigation whatsoever, due to the fact that they are now considered to be stateless and without an official government because of the political issues that have taken place. Analyzing the offenses that Israel has been accused of committing, one could assume they have violated and committed horrendous crimes which should be a concern for the ICC and international communities. This should also give the International Criminal Court full right to open up a crime investigation to prove Israel of its wrongdoings. Conflicts like the Palestinian and Israeli civil war are quite similar to other wars that have occured in the past such as the Bosniak genocide and war crimes that targeted the Muslims of the state. This crime was also investigated, and fortunately successful by imprisoning those who were the designers of the crimes. Investigating and trying those who have allegedly caused such damage to the Palestinians is crucial because history seems to be repeating itself in different states around the world. The reasoning for charges to be laid upon the Israelis that are at fault for the war crimes are valid, and the ICC should be taking immediate action to prosecute those responsible. This is due to the seriousness and importance of the case, because thousands have lost their lives throughout the endless war and the Palestinians are still suffering greatly today. According to the ICC, the prohibited acts to be considered a war crime is “murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historical monuments or hospitals;” In 2015, Fatou Bensouda, the Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a “preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine” This examination will determine whether or not there is a valid reason to conduct a full investigation regarding the unlawful acts committed by Israel. This was put into place after the alleged attacks committed against the Palestinians in the summer of 2014 killing over 2,100 civilians, 500 of whom were children. The Israeli government and military have continually broke these violations all throughout the years of occupation and conflict, but moreover, focusing on the assault that occurred in 2014 most commonly known as the “50 Day War” or the “Gaza- Israel Conflict” This disturbing war crime also left 11,000 permanently severely injured. Up to 500,000 Gaza residents were displaced and 20,000 homes were destroyed by bombings. In just a span of 50 days, approximately 22 hospitals and clinics were either severely damaged or destroyed killing hundreds and leaving the survivors to be in life-threatening conditions. These facilities were not only a place to help heal the ill or wounded, but some of these hospitals were also providing shelter for the dislocated civilians who had lost their homes. Israel has also been accused of attacking educational buildings and had struck a total of 7 UN school in the first 27 days during the 2014 conflict. One of the schools which were attacked was located in a specific area meant to be safe and danger-free from the war zone. This school was also a shelter for over 3,000 civilians who had been displaced and now once again, were going to be dislocated after destruction of the building. The IDF (Israel Defense Force) had been informed about the school’s location numerous times and the UN chief Ban Ki-Moon stated that this was a “gross violation of international humanitarian law” and that those responsible for this criminal act shall be held accountable. There have been more than a handful of other serious offenses that have transgressed the boundaries of natural law and are considered to be in the category of war crimes. In 2009, Ali Khashan who had been working as the Minister of Justice of the Government first filed a complaint to the ICC to open an investigation for charges to be laid against Israel for the “acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002 ” But due to the fact that Palestine was not recognized as a state by the United Nations Assembly, their appeal was unfortunately declined. The stateless Palestinians have been struggling and fighting for justice to stop the inhumane actions done to them by the Israeli militants. For years on, there has been no positive response from any international office. As stated earlier, the Israelis militants and police force have adminstrivaley detained palestinians meaning they are being held in prisons without trialscharges, or sentencing. In the “50 Day War” Israeli troops arrested more than 600 Palestinians with a few hundred being children whom were tortured, put into solitary confinement and sleep-deprived from being moved and interrogated every few hours. In 88% of the imprisoned children’s cases, it was found that the children had not been notified of what their reasons of arrest were. The seriousness of this case is demonstrated through the brutalities that the Palestinian are forced to battle through. Many parents are separated from their children because of their kids being randomly arrested in parks or beaches and are not informed of which prison they have been forcefully confined in. It is important that the ICC lay charges on those who are blameworthy of causing such hardships to the Palestinians for years on, and not facing any consequences whatsoever. Not only are these war crimes are a concern to the Palestinians, but it gradually teaches many children in Israel that what their government and militants are doing is not wrong. Schools teach their students that the Palestinians civilians were only recently invented as if they did not exist hundreds of years ago. These children are also often influenced to play with mock grenades and pretend to shoot guns on days like the Israeli independence day. Likewise, some children of Palestine have a possibility to commit crimes because of massive frustration from being treated so unjustly by the Israelis. Both Israeli and Palestinian school textbooks show negative stereotypes of each other. This creates lack of respect and both races are portrayed to be enemies who repeatedly reject the existence of one another, and also affects the possibility of peace between the neighbours any time soon. There have been other civil crimes wars in the past, which have gone through to be investigated and sentenced those accountable for their unlawful acts. The most recent case investigated in court which has shocked international communities is the “Breakup of Yugoslavia” considered to be one of the deadliest genocides in Europe after World War II. In 1991. This occurred after Croatia and Slovenia declared independence, Yugoslavia had began to collapse and the Yugoslav Army primarily composed of Serbians began to invade Croatia, in hopes of protecting the Serbs residing there. Soon after Bosnia also declared their independence and were about to be the victims of ethnic cleansing. Led by General Ratko Mladic, he had shelled towns and ordered the killings of any Bosniak men who attempted to escape to safety. Many of these victims were killed either by decapitation or gunshots. Over 8,000 men were killed along with the expulsion of 25,000 women and children. Many of the women were subjected to severe torture, rape and other acts of sexual assault/violence. Before the ICC was formed, The International Criminal Tribunals of Yugoslavia dealt with crimes committed and was under the court of law from the United Nations that dealt with crimes from the 1990’s in the Balkans (Region in Europe) A total of 161 persons were indicted by the ICTY with 90 who have now been sentenced, including Ratko Mladic who is infamously known to be the “Butcher of Bosnia.” Although the purposes of the war crimes and statistics of killings may differ from the Palestinian conflict, both of these cases have similarities and have been victims of brutalities committed against their innocent civilians. The international courts have witnessed this Yugoslavian trial and should be responsive to open up another case for a state in need of desperate assistance to prosecute those responsible for their unjust war crimes. The Israeli government and militants have gotten away with their war crimes long enough, and their actions mustn’t be ignored because they will continue to torture, kill and imprison the Palestinian Arabs until they have been ethnically cleansed and are no longer. There are strong and valid pieces of evidence to prosecute those Israeli officials and militants who have committed such inhumane acts on innocent civilians, especially children, who do not deserve to witness nor be raised in the middle of a war zone. Thousands of lives have been carelessly taken and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are left without a permanent home, living in constant stress and fear of their safety. This case is quite important and should be rapidly processed to somewhat stop the upbringing of violence and demolish the hatred both races have against each other. The Bosnian genocide case was quite complicated and took several years to bring in to place, but the international courts should learn from this and operate to take action faster to imprison those monstrous criminals roaming free as officials.