I.P.O. Information Service


Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom appeals to Attorney-General to prevent war crime in Hebron


Jerusalem, 9 December 2002/P/RE/18022c-is

Letter by Mr. Uri Avnery on behalf of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom to the Attorney-General of Israel


December 5, 2002

      We are in possession of decree 61/02/T, signed by General Moshe Kaplinsky, commander of the IDF in the 'Judea and Samaria' area.
      This decree orders the expropriation of 61 (sixty one) parcels, as follows: 'I declare that these lands will be taken over for military needs. I hereby order the demolition of the buildings for military needs.'
     To the best of our knowledge and understanding, there are no 'military needs' for this act, which entails the destruction of a whole neighborhood. The purpose of the decree is to create a 'territorial contiguity' between the settlers in Kiryat-Arba and those in the center of Hebron.
     In the absence of an urgent military need, this act may be considered a war crime under international law. There is no need to add that the very existence of an Israeli settlement in Hebron is illegal under international law.
     As an Israeli peace movement, we are deeply concerned with the moral fabric and the international standing of our state. Therefore we request you to -

     (1) Inform the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense that the above action is manifestly illegal and must be cancelled at once.

     (2) Warn General Moshe Kaplinsky that the above act may be considered a war crime and entail severe personal consequences for him at any time.

     We are convinced that by doing so you will act for the good of the state and the army.

     We believe that it is the duty of every citizen in a democratic state to warn against actions that may constitute war crimes, and take all legal steps necessary for their prevention. This we are doing.

     Yours truly,

     Uri Avnery,
     Former member of the Knesset,
     Gush Shalom.


END/Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom appeals to Attorney-General to prevent war crime in Hebron/2002-12-09/P/RE/18022c-is