Sourani Holds Meetings with Victims of Israeli Violations
Date: 23 February 2021
The Lawyers at the Palestinian Human Rights Centre (PCHR) held A third meeting at PCHR’s office in Khan Younis with the families of the victims of the 2014 Israeli offensive, Great March of Return and the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip. This meeting is one of a series of meetings previously held at PCHR’s offices in Jabalia and Gaza City.
These meetings in general are part of PCHR’s constant communication with the victims represented by the Centre, particularly at the international Criminal Court (ICC). These meetings were to brief the victims and their families on the latest decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC on 05 February 2021, affirming ICC’s full territorial jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) which shall pave the way finally for victims and their lawyers to access long-awaited justice.
PCHR’s Director, lawyer Raji Sourani, said during the meeting that this decision is a landmark for victims that proves the independence and integrity of the ICC and its judges. He considered this as the harvest of years of professional and hard work by PCHR’s national and international legal staff, who represents the Palestinian victims.
He emphasized that this decision clearly reflects the legal, moral, and human superiority over the Israeli occupation.
Sourani added that he expects the ICC Prosecutor to take decisive action soon towards officially initiating the investigation and establishing an investigation team to communicate with the victims and their lawyers.
He concluded, “Justice Train has just set off and will continue its journey to prosecute and hold accountable whoever committed a crime against the Palestinian civilians.”
It should be mentioned that Raji Sourani is the first Palestinian lawyer registered at the ICC as a counsel and leads PCHR’s legal staff to represent and defend Palestinian victims before the Court.
Iyad al-Alami, Head of PCHR’s Legal Unit, and PCHR’s lawyers participated in the meetings along with the international lawyers representing the victims and assigned by PCHR, Dr. Chantal Meloni and Dr. Triestino Mariniello. The victims’ families welcomed the decision which has revived their hopes for the long awaited justice for the sake of the rule of law, dignity and redress to victims and their families.
The victims’ families said they are optimistic about the ICC decision as it paves the way for achieving justice and realizing rights, stressing their full confidence and trust in PCHR’s efforts over the past years.
In conclusion, PCHR emphasized that it has 5 submissions that it will engage with the ICC on: the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip; Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip; the Great March of Return; appropriation and destruction of Palestinian natural resources; and settlement activity. Additionally, any new crimes committed after this date by the Israeli occupation forces will be handled as several Israeli political, military and security leaders will be officially accused by the most prominent international court of committing war and persecution crimes and crimes against humanity.