World court ignores repeated petitions from family of murdered Israeli girl

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda refuses to respond to letters from the family of  an Israeli-American teen murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The International Criminal Court in the Hague is refusing to reply to repeated requests from the family of an Israeli-American teenager who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, Israel Hayom reported Monday.

While ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda continues to pursue a Palestinian demand for criminal proceedings against Israel, the parents of Hallel Ariel, who was 13 when she was stabbed to death in 2016, are furious that Bensouda, whose term expires later this year, has failed to respond to their letters, the first of which was sent in January of 2020.

The International Court of Justice has also not responded to press inquires about the Ariel letters, Israel Hayom noted.

Fifteen months ago, Rina Ariel demanded that the ICC investigate the heads of the Palestinian Authority for their part in her daughter’s murder. A 17-year old Palestinian, Mohammed Tarayra, stabbed her repeatedly while she was taking an afternoon nap in her home in Kiryat Arba.

“The killer, only 17 years old, did not grow up in a vacuum,” Ariel wrote to Bensouda. “He was inspired by two residents of his village who carried out terrorist attacks in the months leading up to the murder of the late Hallel.

Tarayra was shot and killed by security forces as he attacked other people. The PA classifies Tarayra as a “martyr” and his family receives a permanent monthly cash stipend in return for his “martyrdom.”

Ariel emphasized in her appeal that the payment of terrorist salaries by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists or their families was a major motive for the murder of her daughter.

“These salaries, which amount to four times the average salaries in the PA, are fixed in Palestinian Authority legislation and are anchored in PA decisions,” Ariel said, noting that the salaries for killers of Israelis have been estimated at up to 12,000 shekels per month, while the average PA salary is only about 3,000 shekels.

At the time, the murder of Ariel, a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen, finally prompted the United States to deduct the sums paid out to “martyrs” from the American aid money to the PA.

“I will add that the PA sent a senior representative on their behalf, the governor of Hebron, Kamal Hamid, to comfort Tarayra’s family … and even published a death announcement in their name,” Ariel noted.

Ariel presented the evidence she collected to the ICC through the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, which represents Israeli victims of terrorism, demanding that an investigation be opened against senior Palestinian Authority officials.

“We are accustomed in the international arena to acts of hypocrisy and disregard for basic standards of morality, but this time there is no apparent pretense of justice or of any uniform standard, and this is outrageous,” Ariel said.

“It seems that you chose, in your lofty status, to serve the immoral, cruel, dictatorial, and murderous forces, and not use your power to do justice to the blood of a 13-year-old girl who was stabbed 17 times with a knife all over her body,” Ariel said of Bensouda. “It is a shame and a disgrace. And it is a great pity that you choose to put your name on the side of those who have been on the dark side of history and not on the side of morality and justice, humanity and compassion.”

Ariel repeated her demand for Bensouda to respond to her letters.

“The way to fight in court is to pull the rug out from under the ones who pushed for this investigation, the Palestinian Authority,” said Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat HaDin.

“The Hague-based tribunal has for some reason decided not to investigate the Palestinian Authority, even though it incites terrorism, pays rewards to murderers and supports their families,” Darshan-Leitner said.

“The Palestinian Authority cannot evade the law,” she stated. “We will pursue it and oblige the tribunal to open an investigation against the Palestinian Authority. Only if we turn the sword in its direction will the PA understand that it may be harmed itself by turning to The Hague.”