Israeli farmers sue Hamas for torching fields

Israeli farmers are taking legal action against Hamas’ leadership, which is responsible for burning their fields by using kites carrying firebombs. 

By: Mara Vigevani/TPS and World Israel News Staff

Israel farmers from the area surrounding the Gaza Strip declared Sunday that they will appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to indict Hamas Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar and the head of the terrorist organization’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh for damages caused by Palestinian “fire kite” terror.

Some 300 burning kites were sent over from Gaza with the aim of setting fire to fields and causing physical and environmental damage.

“Join in Prosecuting Hamas in The Hague!” wrote the farmers in a petition demanding the prosecution of the terror organization for war crimes in the ICC and calling on additional farmers and citizens to join the lawsuit.

“Hamas has organized riots along the Gaza border and urged its population to infiltrate into Israel. They have called on the public to attack Israelis in their homes and threatened to kidnap and murder as many [Israelis] as possible. Youngsters in Gaza are being encouraged to carry out cross-border arson attacks against Israeli farmers using flaming kites. The twisted strategy centers on causing civilian casualties and generating condemnations of Israel. Hamas’s action violates international law and is war crimes.” the farmers wrote.

The farmers plan to get 100,000 signatures on the petition. Since launching it Sunday, they have so far gathered 4,400.

The farmers made the announcement a week after the Palestinians declared that they would sue Israel at the ICC following the death of some 110 Palestinians in violent disturbances along the Gaza border over the past several weeks.

Most of those killed, by Hamas’ own admission, were terrorists.

Lawsuit first against ‘kite attacks’

The Israeli lawsuit will be the first civilian response to kite terrorism, which has caused damages of millions of shekels of crops and irrigation equipment to the Gaza belt farmers.

Shurat HaDin, The Israel Law Center, an NGO that aims to fight terrorism through legal means and combat boycotts of Israel, will represent the farmers at the ICC.

The farmers intend to sue Hamas for a series of offenses that violate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the treaty that established the ICC, including the burning of agricultural fields with burning kites, attacking Israel’s borders, using children for combat purposes and using the civilian population as human shields.

“The current situation, in which activists of a terrorist organization burn fields in Israel every day, is unacceptable. It is inconceivable that senior Hamas officials accuse Israel of war crimes while using civilian population, especially children, as human shields We call on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to bring them to justice” said Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

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Darshan-Leitner told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that she plans to submit the lawsuit within the next few weeks.