Israeli group sues Hamas for war crimes at the Hague

An Israeli organization has collected testimonies of soldiers serving at the Gaza border to build a case against the terror organization for human rights violations and war crimes.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A grassroots organization called ‘My Truth’ submitted a complaint against Hamas on Thursday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague after amassing dozens of affidavits from reservists in the IDF about the terror organization’s war crimes and human rights violations.

The testimonies include cases of women and children being used as human shields, rockets being shot off from pre-schools, and weapons transported in ambulances. Ten of the most recent examples were chosen for the case, as they pertain to violence over the past seven months, as well as attempted infiltration at the border fence in what Hamas has called the “Great March of Return.”

One affidavit, quoted in the Israel Hayom daily, described how a Palestinian used a child as a human shield.

“A terrorist threw a grenade at one of our jeeps. The minute he understood that he had been seen, he grabbed a kid and held him close so that nobody would shoot at him,” recounted the eyewitness.

The volunteers of My Truth, a non-profit and apolitical organization, collected the first-hand accounts of combat soldiers and senior members of the Ministry of Defense in their Human Shields Project.

Unlike leftist organizations which use anonymous testimonies that describe alleged human rights offenses committed by the IDF, these affidavits are signed, with the soldier’s unit details and rank provided as well.

Palestinian terrorists often hide behind women and children, whom they use as human shields. (Flash90/Abed Rahim Khatib)

“The time has come to put an end to the fabricated stories that the international community recites against IDF soldiers and against Israel,” said organization chairman Avihai Shorshan.

“The cynical use that the Palestinians regularly make of the civilian population tells the true story – a story of systematic war crimes and horrific human rights violations by the terrorist organizations. The world must understand that they are the war criminals – and not IDF soldiers who operate according to the strictest ethical codes in the world.”

My Truth, established in 2014 after Operation Protective Edge to counter the massive amounts of disinformation spread about the actions of Israeli soldiers, will present the case to the ICC through lawyer Ori Morad of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ).

JIJ has presented several cases to the Hague over the years, including one just three months ago against Ismail Haniyeh personally. The head of Hamas’ politburo stands accused of committing war crimes against Gazan children such as encouraging minors to commit suicide attacks. The new testimonies will also strengthen the case against him, said Morad.

“We have to change the record,” Shorshan summed up. “We decided to move from defense to offense.”