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Publish Date : Wednesday 22 April 2009 - 05:54
Shahroudi urges justice for Gaza
This is the text of a speech given by Ayatollah Shahorudi where he speaks about the issue of Palestine.
In the Name of GOD
The compassionate, the Merciful

Praise is due to God, the Creator of the world, Greeting to the Holy Prophet Mohammad and His pure progeny (P.B.U.H)

I would like, at the outset, to offer my warm welcome to you, distinguished guests, honorable judicial authorities, prosecutors and free-minded thinkers present in this learned gathering.

I wish to begin by saluting pure souls of the martyrs of Islam particularly the martyrs of Palestine and proud Islamic Resistance in Gaza.

I hope that our present gathering held on the initiative of the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran with an aim to work out together appropriate legal and judicial mechanisms for the prosecution and punishment of the Zionist criminals will generate some concrete results in line with the interest of the oppressed Palestinian people as well as global peace and security.

It's also our hope that this event will mark a turning point in breaking the cycle of impunity and immunity of perpetrators of international crimes in the history of Palestine.

Fortunately, the notion of ending the practice of impunity for the heinous crimes which have hurt human conscience and the human race in general are now globally recognized and acclaimed. And, independent and pro-justice states and nations of the world have recognized that global peace without the collaboration of all nations of the world to ensure respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms as well as human dignity will remain only a farfetched idea. And, such global collaboration will not be achieved unless justice is applied in the service of the cause of peace. And, for that purpose appropriate measures are adopted at the national level and the internationally recognized norms and collaborative mechanisms are enhanced to effectively prosecute and bring to justice those who disrespect the human dignity and the God gifted rights of human beings. As a matter of fact, the adoption of binding and non-binding international instruments, formation of general and special international tribunals and also improvement of the internal legal systems of states and agreement to expand their jurisdictions to address international crimes demonstrate the mounting global interest in the realization of peace through administration of justice and symmetrical application of the concepts of peace and rights. We should acknowledge that at present the required legal mechanisms for, the attainment of that lofty objective exist.

There is no doubt that the human conscience will be more severely hurt than ever if the crimes of the leaders of the
Zionist regime in Palestine and particularly in Gaza goes unpunished.

The notion of the 'formation of-the Zionist entity in Palestine was conceived and raised in the book "the Jewish State" by Austnan author Theodore Hartselle in 1898 and was formally supported by the British "foreign secretary through the Bal fore Declaration in 1917. Eventually the forged Zionist entity proclaimed its illegitimate existence in the midst of the chaos prevailing following the world war the second and the absence of a local power in the Palestinian region.

As stated by the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (RA), the forged Zionist entity was originally designed to fight Islam. Even, the UN Security Council in 1957 described the idea behind the formation of this regime as racist. The foundation of this regime came at the expense of the usurpation of the Palestinian lands, expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland, continuous massacre of the defenseless innocent people of this land and denial of their fundamental rights and freedoms, imposition of the reign of terror and domination over the neighboring states.

That explains why the Zionist entity had been facing the boycott and sanctions of all Muslims in the recent decades and is used to political isolation to the point that the US state department, in its recent war, allocated a 2 billion US $ budget for the improvement the image of this regime through a cultural and public diplomacy.

The expulsion of the Palestinians from their ancestral lands and prevention of their return to their homeland, extra-judicial executions appearing in the form state terrorism, destruction of the vital infra structures, abduction and torture of the political activists of the Resistance movement, imposition of strict restrictions
on communication and exchange of information with the outside world and denial of the right to form a representative government characterize the policies of the Zionist regime during its shameful history.

Furthermore, the rules of the international humanitarian law which govern the military occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime have been repeatedly, widely, and continually violated.

Today, the unfounded argument of the usurping regime does not apply to those of the provision of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The occupied territories have been rejected by legal experts as well as International bodies such as the UN General Assembly and Security Council, the Council of Human Rights and International Court of Justice.

Although the forged Zionist entity was formed in 1948 on the usurped Palestinian lands and this regime has been operating in the whole Palestinian territory as an occupier during the past 60 years, Gaza Strip and the West Bank and the other lands occupied in 1967 are particularly recognized as occupied lands, and the applicability of the rules humanitarian law particularly, the provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention to these lands have been widely substantiated by the relevant international bodies.

Thus there is no doubt, whatsoever, concerning the applicability of these rules, whether, customary or contractual, along with the rules of the international humanitarian law in the occupied lands, and the Zionist regime as the occupier, is obliged to comply with these rules.

Under the rules of humanitarian law, military occupation has a temporary character, and the occupying power has an obligation to make the necessary provisions to ensure the welfare of the inhabitants of the occupied lands.

The occupying power can, only on a limited basis, adopt the appropriate and necessary measures to administer the occupied lands, and that, too, should only be for the welfare of the local people, and is not allowed to arbitrarily deny or limit the fundamental rights and freedoms of the local people.

Besides, the right to resist occupation has been recognized in international law and the people under occupation including the Gaza strip are entitled to this fundamental right. And, in view of the performance of the Zionist regime, resistance is the only rational way to deal with the occupiers.

A glance at the approach and performance of the Zionist regime in the past 60 years bears evidence that the customary and contractual rules and principles of humanitarian law have been widely and deliberately violated by this regime at different times and places.

For instance construction of settlements in the occupied lands is clear examples of a forcible transfer of a population by the occupiers inside the occupied lands, which contravenes Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

Construction of the separation wall by the Zionist regime under the pretext of countering security threats, which has been with widespread seizure and confiscation of the Palestinian lands and properties are flagrant violation of Article 53 of this Convention. as well as Article 23 and 46 of the Convention IV of Hague (1907).

In this regard, after the case was referred to the International Court of Justice by the UN Security Council, the said court ruled that the construction of the separation wall was illegitimate, emphasizing application of the law of occupation in this respect. But so far the Zionist regime has not accepted nor obeyed the ruling.

Starvation and long-term blockade of civilians are not only prohibited by the provisions of the Article 54 of the 1st protocol annexed to the Geneva criteria but they are also an obvious case of Genocide, meaning to lay a civilian population affiliated to a national group, in whole or in part, open to partial or total destruction.

Therefore, both the rules of the international humanitarian law and the rules of international human rights apply to this case, as these rules are violated by the usurper Zionist regime.

But, what is of special concern and led us to hold the present conference is the attacks of the Zionist regime on the Gaza strip and the 22 day war which constitutes, along with the Zionist carnage in Ghana, Sabra and Shatila, Deire-e Yasin, another stigma on record of the bloody Zionist entity.

The reports released by humanitarian inside and outside the occupied territories and also the views expressed by independent experts in the field of humanitarian law and also the 160 documents and reports published by various UN agencies all point to the outbreak of a humanitarian crisis during these attacks in Gaza.

After the holding of the election in the Gaza Strip in accordance with all democratic criteria Which was confirmed by international observers, mounting pressure and restrictions were brought to bear on the in government and people of Palestine. only because the elected representative government in Palestine believed in resistance. Such pressure and restrictions continued under different excuses, culminating eventually in the economic blockade which imposed an endless suffering on the people of Gaza and the attacks ensuing military strikes.

During the whole period, the Zionist regime was controlling, de jure and de facto, all the air, sea and ground borders of this region.
And, since it is an occupying power in accordance with Article 42 of The Hague Convention, it is obliged to comply with provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention.

The attacks of the Zionist regime on Gaza are not only an illegitimate act per se which contravenes the principles and purposes of the U.N Charter, but they also violate the fundamental principles of the international humanitarian law such as the principle of discrimination between combatants and civilians, and military and non-military targets, the principle of necessity and proportionality in response, and the principle of prohibition of unnecessary pain and suffering. In the course of the Zionist attacks on Gaza, civilians and non- military facilities have been Widely targeted.

Based on the statistics published by Richard Folk, the UN Special Reporter for the Human Rights, a total of 1434 Palestinians have been martyred of whom only 235 have been from the Resistance members. 5303 Palestinians have also been wounded, with women and children, with women and children accounting for over half of them.

On average out of 225 Gazans, one was killed or wounded in the conflict. 96% of the population of the city of Gaza, 81% of the population of Rafah and the northern areas of the Gaza Strip have suffered sever psychological trauma. Around 51000 people are displaced or homeless and some 20000 residential units have been fully destroyed or partially damaged. The total damage inflicted upon the different Palestinian sectors amounted to around one billion and 400 hundred million US $. Since Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas of the world the dimensions of this disaster become even graver.

In the Gaza Strip some 1.5 million people are living in an area of 360 square kilometers who have been under a tight blockade for more than two years and have been cut off from the outside world and did not have access to any means to escape from the war stricken regions neither Egypt nor the West Bank and even the occupied territories. In fact Gaza was turned into a big prison that, as one of the UN Human Rights experts stipulated, "no way was available to escape from".
The innocent people of Gaza were facing very unfortunate and critical conditions being deprived from any basic requirements including food and medicine.

The destruction of the infrastructures and residential units and also the depletion of medicines and food stocks left over. 80% of the local population dependent on the U.N relief aids, while, in accordance With the Article 55 of the 4th Geneva Convention, occupying force is responsible for provision of food, medicine and other necessities of life of the local population. While the Zionist attacks were in process, the cabinet of this regime declared the whole region a military zone and the military troops .of this regime used prohibited types of weapons which could not discriminate between combatants and non-combatants including phosphorous bombs to attack towns and villages overnight and target civilian groups and facilities including the U.N schools and even more brazenly, when the UN secretary General was visiting the occupied territories.

The destruction of the infrastructures and residential units and also the depletion of medicines and food stocks left over. 80% of the local population dependent on the U.N relief aids, while, in accordance With the Article 55 of the 4th Geneva Convention, occupying force is responsible for provision of food, medicine and other necessities of life of the local population. While the Zionist attacks were in process, the cabinet of this regime declared the whole region a military zone and the military troops of this regime used prohibited types of weapons which could not discriminate between combatants and non-combatants including phosphorous bombs to attack towns and villages overnight and target civilian groups and facilities including the U.N schools and even more brazenly, when the UN secretary General was visiting the occupied territories.

The expanse of the attacks and the extent and type of the damages and casualties inflicted on civilians bear witness to the fact that they have rebutted all international norms and deliberately killed the civilians. The slogans of the Zionist soldiers threatening to fully destroy the Arab population and also the remarks of the ambassador of this regime in the European Union that "every thing in Gaza is under fire" is a proof to this claim that the Zionist authorities had no intention of discriminating between combatants and non-combatants in the very first place and they in tact wished for total annihilation and genocide of the people of Gaza.

Zionist claim to its self-defense Vis-à-vis the Hamas rocket attacks is not acceptable for the following reasons:

Given para. 4 of Article 1, paragraph 4 of Article 2, as well as Article 51 of the UN Charter and the relevant principle on the necessity for peaceful settlement of international disputes, use of force can be justified only as the last resort with observance of the two principles of necessity and proportion. The ceasefire established between Hamas and the Zionist regime before recent attacks against the Gaza Strip and its repeated violation by the fake Zionist regime proved that, firstly, Hamas has abided by the nonmilitary solution and the ceasefire and therefore there was no ground for the Zionist regime to use force and, secondly, based on the formal report of the UN on November 4th 2008 the Zionist regime violated the ceasefire and murdered 6 Palestinians which clearly indicate that this regime has not been committed to the ceasefire before the 22 day war on Gaza. Also according to the investigations made in this respect between 2000 and 2008, around %79 of the ceasefire violation cases have been committed by the Zionist regime.

Thirdly, given the disproportionate attack definition introduced in Article 51 of the First Additional Protocol to Geneva Conventions as w~1I as the types of weapons and military structures of the two sides the Zionist attacks do not meet the pre requirements of the principle of proportionality by no means. The impression we can get from the reports of independent observers of human rights and humanitarian affairs is that the Zionist military personnel and authorities, without any acceptable legal ground, grossly violated provisions of the 4th Geneva Conventions during the 22 day war against Gaza killing civilians and destroying civilian properties and installations and they shall be prosecuted for the war crimes they committed accordingly. Now the International community is facing an acid test. The awakened conscience expects the UN Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court based on the rules and regulations of the 7th Chapter of the UN Charter or like in the case of the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Lebanon make required arrangements for the establishment of a tribunal for prosecution of Zionist criminals.

But unfortunately we have witnessed unacceptable position of the UN and especially its Security Council. Despite the fact that more than 160 documents and reports have so far released on the Zionist criminal acts during the 22 day war in Gaza all implying that this regime has committed gross violations of the human rights and humanitarian law. Lack of action towards this regime has emboldened the Zionist criminals to continue with their crimes to that extant that the Zionist new prime minister openly spoke of his intention to completely destroy the resistance in Gaza completely destroy the resistance in Gaza and continuation of building of new Jewish settlements. This position is a serious warning to the international community regarding protection of peace and security and observance of the humanitarian liabilities.

Therefore all governments of the world are facing a serious task. In fact the case of the gross violation of the human rights and the humanitarian law concerns all governments as well as all human being by virtue of their humanity. In this respect obligation of all countries is redoubled when there is compelling evidence for occurrence of war crimes in Gaza. Therefore occurrence of these crimes which have touched the awakened conscience of the humanity redoubles responsibilities of all governments. The international judicial procedures since the World War II and the verdict of the relevant international courts on the war crimes re-accentuate the individual criminal responsibility and the need to prosecute the perpetrators.

Based on the provisions of UN General Assembly Resolution No. 3074 dated 1973 on the principles of international cooperation for discovery of war crimes an arrest, extradition and prosecution of the war criminals and perpetrators of the inhuman crimes, all perpetrators, respective of where the crimes are committed, shall be prosecuted and all governments shall institute the legal proceedings for prosecution of the criminals by themselves or refer them to the requesting governments.

Therefore the human and historical responsibility of all governments requires of them that, based on the international law and their domestic rules and regulations and irrespective of their political considerations and in accordance with dictates of common sense and with a awakened conscience, to act in a coordinated manner and take required measures for prosecuting the war criminals, and perpetrators of genocide and inhuman crimes in Gaza and do everything which necessary for carrying out relevant judicial investigations, arresting, and extraditing the criminals given provisions of the international law.

All political and judicial authorities shall rest assured that their act in combating and suppressing the international war crimes in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territories will go down in history and remain embedded in consciences of the next generations and as a preventive factor will prevent the reoccurrence of such crimes. Given the sublime teachings of the Holy religion of Islam in support of the dignity and status of all human beings and in line with the remarks of the Holy Prophet of Islam (P.B.U.H) saying:

"If a Muslim hears the cry of another Muslim for help but fails to respond to it he/she is not a Muslim."

The judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a practical step in combating against impunity of criminals, has taken measures to institute the relevant legal proceedings and it has already set up a special branch for prosecuting the crimes committed by the Zionist authorities and military personnel and to this end after carrying out preliminary investigations and receiving the complaints of many victims of the Zionist crimes and collecting the sufficient evidences and documents submitted a request for arrest of 25 Zionist ?army officials to the Interpol and this and this authority based on the its Statute and the resolutions adopted in its 63, 66 and 73rd General Assemblies shall extend required cooperation for arrest and extradition of these individuals.

In this respect we expect all signatories to Interpol Statute and other freedom loving governments to support the measures already taken by the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran and extend their full cooperation with Iranian Judicial authorities in exchanging information and introducing evidences as well as arresting and prosecuting the crimes.

Distinguished Guests,

Islam is the religion of kindness and respect to human beings, good reputation and dignity. The highest elements of human rights and humanitarian rights are defined in Islamic Sources.

Since 14 centuries ago principles like legitimacy of reason for war, humanitarian treatment with prisoners and the injured, protection for civilian population and properties, observance of proportionality in armed conflicts, fulfillment of pledge and avoidance of deception and hypocrisy an all that western world are beating on the drum of, have been long times ago exercised and taken for granted by Muslims. The only way possible for Islam world to remain safe from arrogance oppression, occupation and aggression, is seeking to Islamic principles, resistance and enlightenment which also works for oppressed Palestinians to get rid of the illegitimate Zionist regime.
In order to take practical and effective measures to administer international justice and avoid the crimes, genocide and other forms of international organized crimes an for purpose of promoting cooperation among Islamic countries and other freedom loving nations of the world in this respect w propose the following:

1- Establishing a secretariat to follow up and coordinate exchange of information on war crimes, genocide and other forms of organized crimes and holding periodic conferences in the Islamic and other interested countries to discuss the agreed subjects.

2- Sending documents and evidences collected and presented in the Conference to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Zionist war crimes and genocide in Gaza and requesting the ICC prosecutor to investigate the cases and prosecute the Zionist criminals, based on the complaints filed by the Palestinian Government.

3- Given the measures taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in criminal prosecution of war criminals based on Articles 146 and 147 of the 4th Geneva Conventions adopted 1949 on the need to prosecute the war criminals and the request made to Interpol for arrest of 25 Zionist military personnel, the Conference calls on all participating countries to support the request by all means.

4- Establishing the International Islamic Criminal Court to combat culture of impunity to realize administration of international justice with respect to the crimes committed in the Muslim territories and against Muslim ~ population aiming to prosecute perpetrators ~ of war crimes, genocide and other international crimes.

5- Under present circumstances and given failure of the UN Security Council to meet its responsibilities I propose that based on the Article 22 of the UN Charter, participating authorities to follow up the subject for establishment of the international tribunal for Zionist crimes and raising it within the UN General Assembly in order to be discussed and decided upon accordingly.

In the end, extending our gratitude to the supporting countries of the oppressed Palestinians' resistance in 22 day Gaza war and participating distinguished guests, prosecutors and high ranking judicial authorities from Islamic countries and international judges and lawyers in the conference, we do hope to witness a day in which: as the result of joint international judicial activities, there would be no more place on the earth for such atrocities and genocides against innocent people.
Source : Press TV
Story Code: 3425