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Tribunal against Israel justifiable: Rais

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Jan 2009: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the setting up of an International Criminal Tribunal for Palestine is justifiable as Israel is not complying with the international resolutions that have been agreed upon and continues to violate international law.

He said such a move, like what had been done in cases involving Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Rwanda, was permissible under Article 22 of the United Nations (UN) Charter and must be carried out as the death toll and injuries among the Palestinians were increasing daily and it was clear that Israeli troops were committing excessive violence.

“The bombing raids and ground attacks launched against the Palestinians were killing the elderly, women and children. Schools, places of worship, hospitals and humanitarian aid centres were also not spared by the Israeli troops.

“Although the UN Security Council had issued Resolution 1860 requiring Israel to cease fire immediately, attacks against the Palestinians were still continuing.

“The Israeli attacks on Gaza which has now entered its 17th day, have killed at least 778 Palestinians including 219 children while another 3,000 are injured,” he said when winding up the motion condemning Israel for the attacks on Palestine at the Dewan Rakyat, today.

Rais said the Israeli attacks on Palestine were not acceptable to the civilised international community and the law of the jungle adopted by Israel would only breed vengeance which would lead to violence.

“The brutal killing of a family member will surely breed vengeance and willingness to die (among those affected) as there is no point in living any more. Just look at the gory pictures carried by the newspapers and television stations. Those among us who see the pictures are drawn to tears, it’s worse for those who are going through such experiences in Gaza.

“Should we just keep quiet? Certainly not. A responsible nation will not keep quiet. Malaysia will not keep quiet and will continue to champion the cause so that the cruelty and violence committed by Israel against the people of Palestine in Gaza will be stopped immediately,” he said.

He said Malaysia proposed and fully supported the creation of a UN peacekeeping force to enforce a ceasefire and, upon its formation, Malaysia was prepared to participate in the force if required to do so.

Malaysia’s objective was to see that the violence committed by Israel was strongly condemned by the international community, said Rais.

The minister also said that the resolution passed at the Dewan Rakyat today would be handed over to the United States Congress and Parliaments of the European Union via the Foreign Ministry and Malaysian missions abroad.

Thirty-one members of Parliament participated in the seven-and-a-half hour debate on the motion.

Meanwhile in IPOH, Gerakan also joined in the call for the setting up of the war crimes tribunal by the United Nations to initiate criminal proceedings against the Israeli government.

Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn, who is also the party’s legal and human rights bureau chairperson, said the offensive and aggressive action in Gaza by the Israeli government was causing immense injuries, deaths and destruction.

“The act amounts to an action against humanity and it is an international crime. We fully agree tha Gaza’s scenario is like a concentration camp where civilians are injured and killed indiscriminately,” he said in a statement here. — Bernama

See also: UN should set up war crimes tribunal: Abdullah


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