The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has written a notice of intention to prosecute any UK politicians who are aiding and abetting war crimes in Gaza.
The Labour leadership have been notified that UK politicians may be individually criminally liable for their role in aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity. The notice has been handed over to Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit, who have requested evidence relating to war crimes in the region.
Last week, the Expose reported that both Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition, and Emily Thornberry, Shadow Attorney General, and both human rights lawyers, spoke out in defence of Israel’s withholding of food, water and electricity to civilians in Gaza. They justified this collective punishment based on ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Warned
The news of the notice of intention to prosecute, follows reports on Saturday 14th that The International Centre for Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has also warned Tory PM Rishi Sunak of its intention to prosecute him and other government ministers for their complicity in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people (source)
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, a director of the group, told Sky News that he does not think his colleagues understand their ‘legal peril’ over their actions.
Israel-Hamas war: UK could be complicit in war crimes if it does not do more to ‘restrain’ Israel, says Conservative MP
Crispin Blunt, who is co-director of a pro-Palestinian group, told Sky News he is not sure his colleagues in Westminster are aware of the “legal peril they are in”.
In a statement about its decision to pursue prosecution, the ICJP said that it had issued Sunak: with a stark warning that UK government officials could be individually liable for their role in aiding and abetting Israeli war crimes.
“Sunak has been issued with the notice of intention to prosecute UK government officials, for their role in providing military, economic and political support to Israel, which has aided Israel’s perpetration of war crimes.” states the ICJP.
“The decision to prosecute comes in response to Israel’s directive to 1.2 million people in Gaza to immediately leave their homes in northern Gaza and move south. This order will result in mass forced displacement which may amount to both a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The siege of Gaza, restricting electricity, food, water and other basic necessities, constitutes collective punishment, which is also a war crime under the Geneva Convention. At the same time, Israel has continued to bombard Gaza with massive and indiscriminate airstrikes, killing over 1,799 people, including 583 children” (source).
MPs Aiding and Abetting War Crimes
The War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity had been seen to be publicly condoned by leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer. In an interview, Starmer had said that Israel had the right to cut off power and cut off water, yet contradicted himself by saying “Everything should be done within International Law.”
Additionally, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry, when asked on Newsnight “do you think cutting off food, water and electricity is within international law?” could only reply with what appears to be the permitted answer; “I think that Israel has an absolute right to defend itself against terrorists” and ignored the actual question.
Also finding it hard to answer the questions, shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy showed that he is not allowing the lives of 2.2 million civilians to get in the way of his career.
Senior Politicians Could be Prosecuted
The ICJP advised that yesterday morning the 16 October 2023- they issued the three MPs, Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and David Lammy with a notice of intention to prosecute UK politicians for their role in aiding and abetting Israel’s perpetration of war crimes. “This remarkable development comes at a time when Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit have opened calls for evidence relating to war crimes in the region. In an incredible turn of events, this could lead to senior politicians being prosecuted for war crimes by Scotland Yard. Individuals could also be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.” they said.
Both politicians are human rights lawyers should be well aware that this argument does not justify collective punishment, which is illegal under international law. ICJP sent a private letter to the Shadow Attorney General last week, urging Labour Party politicians to comply with international law or action would be taken, and now a notice to prosecute has been issued (source).
See More of this letter Here.
Mere hours after ICJP’s announcement on Saturday, Keir Starmer retracted his endorsement of Israel’s total siege on Gaza, illegal under international law. However, he fell short of acknowledging and condemning the war crimes and crimes against humanity already perpetrated.
David Lammy has also been issued with the notice that Labour politicians could be liable, in his capacity as Shadow Foreign Secretary.
Evidence of War Crimes
As well as the total siege on Gaza, Israel has also issued a directive to 1.2 million people in Gaza to immediately leave their homes in northern Gaza and move south. This order will result in mass forced displacement which may amount to both a war crime and a crime against humanity, according to the ICJP.
They added, “Now that there is clear evidence that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been carried out, and politicians have been formally notified of this, continuation of such support and assistance would mean that any politicians, including senior members of the opposition, could be complicit in the commission of such crimes. This complicity, formally known as ‘aiding and abetting’ war crimes, may mean that UK politicians are held individually criminally liable for breaking international law.
ICJP demands that “the Labour Party leadership and UK politicians more broadly must call for an immediate ceasefire, call for an end to Israel’s illegal siege and evacuation order for North Gaza, condemn Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity. They should then press the government into immediate action to do the same.”
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