15-Year-Old Palestinian Turns To ICC For Justice

September 3, 2009

After witnessing the deaths of her father Fathi, her sister Ismat, and her brother Ala on January 14, Amira Alqerem has turned to the (ICC) seven months later in hopes of justice for her family. Her family was attacked in Gaza during which lasted 22 days this past January and resulted in the deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians and three Israelis.

The AFP reported on Alqerem’s court filing:

“The three children were awoken by an explosion to find their father’s body, covered in blood, next to a crater near their house, the document claims. Ismat and Ala went off to seek help, but were killed in another explosion. Amira, who had stayed behind with her dead father, was hit in the right leg.”

Gilles Devers, an international lawyer from Lyon, is currently representing Alqerem. He believes the Israeli attacks were aimed at citizens and recently said, “This was a crime against humanity, that is why we brought it to the ICC.” He also reaffirmed the need for accountability, adding that “Israeli politicians and military leaders must be held responsible.”

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC Prosecutor, began a preliminary analysis in February of the alleged crimes committed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead. He has received many claims similar to that of Amira Alqerem and to date, has received complaints from over 360 individuals in addition to evidence of wrong-doing from other non-governmental bodies, the Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Kashan, and the Palestinian National Authority all pertaining to this most recent Israeli offensive.

Through her interpreter, Alqerem noted that she was doing this “for all the children of Gaza” and that “I want to do something to change the situation.”

Sana Javed contributed to this post.