Campaign warns: PA can file ICC suits against low ranking IDF soldiers
Israeli NGO launches campaign to raise awareness to ICC lawsuits filed by PA; video warns 'not only senior IDF officials are in danger of being sued for war crimes, but also your nephew, who was in Golani, caught during his post-IDF-service backpacking trip'
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"The video tries to exemplify what could happen to an IDF soldier in a country that is a member of the international court in The Hague, if we don't prepare and threaten with a countersuit," said Shurat HaDin chairwoman Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
The video, which was recently released, is circulating in social networks and various media and shows a young Israeli man dressed in a t-shirt with the logo of his IDF unit and shorts, ostensibly the stereotypical Israeli backpacker, as he is detained and handcuffed by police in the passport control station of a foreign airport.
While he is being taken away, voices in the background can be heard as they are passing on a rumor that he was detained after he was asked if had served in the IDF.
"Call my parents," he asks those around as he is being handcuffed.
The video got thousands of hits online, but the timing of its release, only a few hours before the Beersheba bank massacre, made Shurat HaDin worry that the video may cause panic, as one of the first assessments regarding the Beersheba shooting was that it might have been nationalistically motivated. Shurat HaDin therefore issued a statement clarifying that the video was directed, and was part of a campaign promoted by the organization.
"We wanted to raise awareness in the public that nowadays, after Palestine was recognized by the UN as an observer state, not only senior IDF officials are in danger of being sued for war crimes and have a warrant for their arrest hovering over their heads, but also your nephew, who was in Golani and was caught during his post-IDF-service backpacking trip," said PR agent Sefi Shaked, who created the campaign.
"We informed the IDF Spokesperson's Unit and the Foreign Ministry about the campaign, but the Beersheba attack changed things. We didn’t want to cause gratuitous panic and we chose to disclose the fact that the video was directed," Shaked added.
According to Darshan-Leitner, the campaign was meant to encourage Israelis who are victims of terror to come forth and deliver testimonies that could be used as evidence in case the Palestinians choose to pursue legal proceedings in the ICC.
"Ever since the authority has become a UN observer state, it is threatening to turn to The Hague in order to prosecute IDF servicemen for war crimes. It did so last year and was told that as long as it does not have a state status, it will not be able to do so.
Now that the "threat" of the ICC suit returned to haunt many Israelis who served in the IDF, Shurat HaDin decided to launch "a preemptive attack and threaten to sue the leader of the Palestinian Authority for international crimes as part of the Intifada, in the name of thousands of terror victims," Darshan-Leitner asserted.
"That is why we ask victims of terror to deliver testimonies, which could be used as evidence in countersuits. The testimonies will only be used if the Palestinians Authority takes action," the NGO chairwoman said.
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