Demanding Criminal Investigations for Killings and Extensive Home Demolitions in Rafah, Gaza in 2004.

HCJ 3292/07, Adalah, et al. v. The Attorney General, et al. (case pending)

Petition filed to the Supreme Court in 4/07, together with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (Gaza) and Al-Haq (West Bank), demanding the opening of criminal investigations into the killing of civilians and extensive home demolitions which resulted from two military operations in Gaza – “Operation Rainbow” (18-24 May 2004) and “Operation Days of Penitence” (30 September-15 October 2004). “Operation Rainbow,” led to many civilian killings, including at least 17 children, and to the demolition of 167 homes, inhabited by 379 families, comprised of 2,066 individuals in densely-populated areas of Rafah, Gaza. The main purpose declared by the Israeli military and government for the operation was to locate weapons-smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. During “Operation Days of Penitence” in northern Gaza many civilians were killed, including at least 27 children. In addition, 91 homes were demolished, inhabited by 143 families, comprised of 675 individuals, and serious damage was cased to an additional 101 homes, inhabited by 833 individuals. The declared purpose of this operation was to stop the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel.

The petition contains extensive domestic and international documentation, which clearly shows that the conduct of the Israeli military and the intentions behind the two military operations constitute criminal behavior mainly illegal reprisals and cleansing areas of civilian buildings. It also contains documentation of the extensive international criticism of the Israeli military and the government voiced shortly before and during the military operations. Among those individuals and organizations who condemned the military action were the UN Secretary General, the UN Security Council, the US, the EU, various UN envoys and Special Rapporteurs, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Amnesty International. Adalah argued that the acts committed by Israeli military commanders and officers in both of these operations amount to criminal offenses under Israeli domestic and international law, and that those responsible must be prosecuted and held accountable. In both operations, the Israeli military carried out willful killings and the extensive and wanton destruction of civilian property, classified as grave breaches under the article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are therefore considered war crimes.

H.C. 3292/07, Adalah, et al. v. The Attorney General, et al. (case pending)