World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Warning letters to officers in the focus

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 -

Aug. 4, 2002

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Gush Shalom's warning letters to officers in the focus
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The following article about Gush Shalom warning soldiers and officers who violate international law appears today on Ha'aretz frontpage - in both the Hebrew and the English edition.

The reactions are abundant, especially after an outright hostile interview with Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller on the Kol Yisrael radio. We receive an abundance of negative but also a lot of positive telephones and emails. It was very supportive to hear that collegial peace groups consider to place a supportive ad in the paper.

On the radio appeared that the cabinet ministers this morning spent a lot of time to the subject, with PM Sharon reported to be "very angry."

(Another interview with Adam will be on Israeli TV Channel-10, after 9.00 this evening.)

For more information: +972-3-5565804 / +972-56-709603 / +972-56-709604 -\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-

[Follows the Ha'aretz article.] ID=2& subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0

Peace group warns IDF officers: We have evidence of war crimes

By Amos Harel

Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace organization, has in past months sent threatening letters to Israel Defense Forces officers who are on duty in the territories. The letters claim that the officers are guilty of offenses tantamount to war crimes. The officers have been warned in these letters that the movement is monitoring their actions, and that Gush Shalom intends to compile information against them which will be submitted to the International Criminal Court.

These letters have been signed by "Gush Shalom's team for the collection of evidence against war criminals."

The letters were sent to 15 IDF officers with ranks between lieutenant colonel and brigadier general. Gush Shalom identified the officers on the basis of interviews which they gave on local media during IDF operations in the territories. As a result of these operations, Palestinian residents in the territories lodged complaints about IDF behavior; the peace movement based its letters on these complaints.

One such letter, which reached Ha'aretz, was sent a few months ago to a brigadier general who is serving in the territories. The letter refers to a round-up of suspects carried out by the IDF in several villages. In coordination with the Shin Bet security service, family members of leading terror suspects were detained in this round-up - the goal of such arrests was to obtain information about the whereabouts of the terror suspects, and perhaps also to pressure them to turn themselves in.

The Gush Shalom letter warns the officer that "taking hostages is a grave violation of the fourth Geneva Convention." The letter writers declare: "As citizens concerned about the status and image of the state of Israel and the IDF ... we cannot quietly condone such acts. We warn you that evidence about these acts has been compiled, and put in a file that we are preparing."

The file, the letter adds, "is likely to be submitted as evidence in an Israeli court, or to an international war crimes tribunal." The letter ends with a veiled threat: "We hope that from this time forth you will be careful, and refrain from carrying out or taking operational responsibility for more acts that represent violations of international law."

Gush Shalom spokesman Adam Keller confirms that his group is behind the letters. He says that Gush Shalom has established a monitoring group that compiles evidence on the basis of media reports, and work done by human rights groups.

This monitoring group is now comprised of volunteers, but the spokesman indicated that Gush Shalom wants to employ salaried, full-time officials for the work. Keller said that Gush Shalom is now investigating ways to relay information that has been compiled to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. He said that procedures for this new tribunal have yet to be formalized, and so "it isn't clear whether a voluntary group [like Gush Shalom] can submit evidence."

One high-ranking IDF officer, under whose command a number of the officers "warned" by Gush Shalom serve, told Ha'aretz last night that the letters are "an attempt to harm the morale" of soldiers. "This is an exercise in incitement and sedition...and they're trying to foster a sense of personal threat" among officers," he said. The IDF officer added "I'm happy to say that the letters haven't harmed these officers' performance."

w w w . h a a r e t z d a i l y . c o m ---- Full transcript of the war crimes panel available on the Gush site For Hebrew For English French available at request

Also on the site: photo's - of action or otherwise informative the weekly Gush Shalom ad - in Hebrew and English the columns of Uri Avnery - in Hebrew, Arab and English (and a lot more)

* *

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Conflict, COVID, Climate Crisis, Likely To Fuel Acute Food Insecurity In 23 ‘Hunger Hotspots’

Life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine is being cut off in several countries by fighting and blockades, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a new report issued on Friday... More>>

Oxfam: Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least Five Times More Expensive Than It Could Be

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance said today...

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>

Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>