In press conference presenting documentation of IDF violence against Palestinians, Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti demands Israeli leaders be tried for war crimes
Published: 03.24.07, 20:39 / Israel News
Palestinian Information Minister Dr. Mustafa Barghouti demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz be tried for war crimes.
Border Guard policemen filmed beating Palestinian youth / Ali Waked
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In a press conference in Ramallah on Saturday, Dr. Barghouti presented a video in which IDF soldiers are seen beating a Palestinian youth at the Hawara checkpoint in Nablus and another video documenting abuse in the al-Ubaydia village near Bethlehem.
Barghouti said that these images were "a small sampling of the serious crimes that the soldiers of the occupation commit against the Palestinian people."
Barghouti said that the soldiers shouldn’t bear all the blame for such incidents, but that anyone involved in the Israeli military's presence in these areas was also guilty.
"I believe that the guilty ones are the Israeli war minister, the Israeli chief of staff and the Israeli prime minister. They are all guilty. They are allowing their soldiers to commit crimes against the Palestinian people on a daily basis, and they should be tried for war crimes. We should not put sole responsibility for these crimes on the soldiers in the field, who are simply following orders from their political and military leaders," he said.
Barghouti said that the Palestinian Authority was seriously considering opening a world-wide media campaign to display Israel's violence against the Palestinian people, especially at IDF checkpoints.
According to Barghouti, incidents of abuse occur that are far worse that the few that were caught on tape.
"The Israeli army carries out unjustified, violent, sadistic crimes against innocent civilians, but these actions are daily, and I am sure that the Israelis would not be carrying out such crimes if they felt that the world was watching them.
"The Israeli occupation has turned into an occupation that works according to the apartheid formula - racial separation, just as former US president Jimmy Carter pointed out when he said that the actions of the Israeli occupation are far worse than what was done in South Africa,"