Legal challenge launched over Gaza


by Sunny
23rd February, 2009 at 2:19 am    

A press release I’ve received

Miliband, Hutton & Mandelson to face historic Gaza legal challenge for breaking international law brought to court by Palestinian NGO

As many of you will be aware, the Gaza Legal Aid Fund, to be administered by the Human Rights Legal Aid Trust, was launched at the City Circle on 23 January. Its function is to provide financial support to Palestinian civilians seeking legal redress from alleged human rights violations by the Israeli government and alleged British government complicity.

Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental organisation will, on Tuesday 24 February 2009, begin historical legal proceedings against the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, Defence Secretary John Hutton, and Trade & Industry Secretary (now the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform) Peter Mandelson.

Al Haq are making an application for judicial review of a policy decision, made by the three Secretaries of State, stating that they will not change their position with respect to the UK’s relations with Israel, in order for the UK Government to be fully compliant with international law.

The UK’s obligations under international law insofar as the attacks on civilians in Gaza are concerned, include; not rendering aid or assistance to Israel, and not recognising the illegal situation it has created in Gaza. They should co-operate with other states using all lawful means to bring the situation to an end.

As far as the UK’s obligation not to render aid or assistance is concerned, it should be noted that in the first quarter of 2008 there was a huge increase in the amount of arms related products to Israel approved through the UK arms export licensing system. The amount approved was £20m. By way of comparison, the amount approved for the whole of 2004 was £12m.

The papers on an application for judicial review are being lodged on Tuesday 24 February in the High Court of Justice by Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, prior to the press conference being held that morning at 11.00am.

You are urged to attend the press conference from 10:50am to 11:20am, Tuesday 24 February outside The High Court (Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL).

Link to map

Join the new Facebook Page

Donate to the Gaza Legal Aid Fund via Paypal on www.hrlegalaid.com

Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, which works to protect human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories says: “Considering the UK’s historical role in the region and its continued arms sales to Israel, Al-Haq has come to the UK with the belief that the judicial system of the UK will provide, at the very least, hope for the Palestinian people and again provide meaning to the principle of justice and international law. The time for hiding behind words has ended.”

Phil Shiner (Public Interest Lawyers) who is leading the case on behalf of Al-Haq says: “The UK has clear international law obligations to do something effective to stop Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civilians. It must cooperate with other states using all lawful means to bring the situation to an end and it must stop giving aid and assistance to Israel. This means that the UK’s continuing policy of arms trading with Israel is completely out of bounds, as is our role in continuing with the EU preferential trading agreement. The point of this case is to make the Government focus on what it is legally obliged to do, beyond ineffective hand-wringing pleas for Israel to behave properly, which, to date, have fallen on deaf ears.”

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Human Rights Legal Aid Trust says: “We have been very encouraged by the global support for the Gaza Legal Aid Fund which seeks to provide Palestinians with the much needed financial assistance to be able to access international courts of justice. Israel and its allies must be sent a clear message that they are not above the law; that they are not immune; and that they will be held accountable.”

For more information please contact Rashad Yaqoob or Ruben Wilberg on 07970 557 304, or email info@hrlegalaid.com


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Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs,Middle East






8 Comments below   |  

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  1. » Press release on the launch of the Gaza … Talk Islam

    [...] Press release on the launch of the Gaza Legal Aid Fund (via Pickled Politics): [...]




  1. Paddy O'Reilly — on 23rd February, 2009 at 4:24 am  

    As we say in Australia – This is Mary sucking ass.

    Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Human Rights Legal Aid Trust says: “We have been very encouraged by the global support for the Gaza Legal Aid Fund which seeks to provide Palestinians with the much needed financial assistance to be able to access international courts of justice. Israel and its allies must be sent a clear message that they are not above the law; that they are not immune; and that they will be held accountable.”

    Mary, what about the Palestinians, we guess from your point of view, laws do not apply to them. They can shoot rockets (aimed at killing civilians), kill women and children and they will still be the love of your life.

    Answer one question: Will you also be taking the Palestinians to the international courts of justice?

  2. Ben — on 23rd February, 2009 at 6:27 am  

    The Palestinians have a saying:

    Darabani, wa-baka; sabaqani, wa’shtaka

    In English:

    I hit him and cried (pretending it was he who hit me)
    Then I overtook him and denounced him to the authorities (before he could denounce me)

    The cynical duplicity described in this ditty characterises contemporary Palestinian behaviour.

    In the period following the year 2000, the PLO and Hamas together initiated a campaign that deliberately targeted and murdered many hundreds of Israelis, almost all civilians. Some of the perpetrators of these crimes were British Moslems. The Palestinians then denounced the measures taken by Israel to prevent the attacks, such as the security fence and checkpoints. They continued trying to bomb and shoot Israeli civilians, though with diminished success because of the effectiveness of the fence and checkpoints. The Hamas faction then followed this up by reneging on all previous peace agreements with Israel, stating that they will never recognize Israel, and promulgating violence as their chosen strategy. With the blood of hundreds of Israeli civilians already on their hands, Hamas renewed attacks against Israel, this time with rockets.

    And Palestinian groups in Britain now complain about Israel retaliating. They and their British supporters are insolent, impertinent and murderous.

  3. cjcjc — on 23rd February, 2009 at 8:52 am  

    Not another thread on this please

  4. medic — on 23rd February, 2009 at 9:52 am  

    >>Darabani, wa-baka; sabaqani, wa’shtaka

    In English:

    I hit him and cried (pretending it was he who hit me)
    Then I overtook him and denounced him to the authorities (before he could denounce me)<<

    You’ve got the words mixed up, it’s he hit me then cried, then overtook me and began to complain (that i beat him)

  5. soru — on 23rd February, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

    Sorry, but zero sympathy for any legal attempt to disarm a country undeniably under external attack.

  6. Random Guy — on 23rd February, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

    Sorry, but overwhelming support for any legal attempt to disarm a rogue state from continuing to undeniably spite International Law.

  7. soru — on 23rd February, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

    The kind of people who will support this proposal will continue to do so. For anyone else, it is important to remember:

    1. disarming your opponent is an entirely legitimate tactic in war

    2. in peacetime, disarming your opponent does nothing except save them some money.

    3. by its nature, war against Israel can never be limited to _regime change_: victory inherently requires _population change_.

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