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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:52 AM
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Seeking justice abroad
Al-Ahram Weekly

29 September - 5 October 2005

Domestic remedies exhausted, Palestinians are seeking redress in
foreign courts, much to the chagrin of Israel, reports Khaled Amayreh
in the West Bank

Having lost faith in the Israeli justice system, Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories are contemplating seeking redress for their numerous grievances against the State of Israel in international courts, especially in Europe.

Palestinian and foreign human rights activists have long complained that the Israeli justice system doesn't give equal and real justice to non-Jews, particularly if they are Arabs. One Arab Knesset member last week described the Israeli justice system as "designed to be accommodative for Jews and punitive for non-Jews". "The plain truth," said Ahmed Teibi, "is that Palestinians can't find justice in Israel, neither here, nor in the occupied territories." He cited a study by a Haifa University professor, Arieh Ruttner, showing that Israeli courts systematically discriminate against Arabs, whether as defendants or as plaintiffs.

Teibi's remarks came in reaction to the acquittal last week by an Israeli Justice Ministry inquiry commission of the police killers of 12 Israeli Arab protesters in October 2000. Paramilitary police had then opened fire on thousands of "48ers" -- Palestinians displaced from their original homes since the 1948 War which ethnically cleansed three quarters of the Palestinian population from what was thereafter declared as Israel -- protesting against the bloody repression of Palestinians in the West Bank. The commission ruled that there was no way to determine the identity of the killers, saying it had no choice but to close the cases of all police officers involved in the killings.

Shocked by the exoneration of the killers, Teibi, Islamic movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah and other leaders of Israel's Arab community said they might now appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for redress. "If a state doesn't or is not capable of giving justice to a segment of its own citizens, those citizens have every right to seek justice against their state abroad," said Azmi Bishara, another Arab Knesset member. "We will continue to sue all those responsible for the murder of our children, in Israeli courts and international forums," said lawmaker Muhammed Baraka. "If Israeli justice doesn't or can't bring relief to the citizens of the state, we'll have to look for it elsewhere."

More at;
Al-Ahram


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