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Three Israel high court justices face war crimes suit

[JURIST] Three justices on the Israeli Supreme Court [official website] have been sued for voting in favor of authorizing the construction of Israel's wall around the West Bank, which the International Court of Justice [official website] found illegal [advisory opinion, PDF] in 2004. The lawsuit [Jewish Business News report] alleges war crimes and crimes against humanity based on the Nuremberg trials precedent that allows judges to be convicted for their role in cooperating with such crimes. Six Palestinian landowners from Beit Jala, a town near Bethlehem, filed the suit in Santiago, Chile, because Chile ascribes to the concept of universal jurisdiction. Five of the plaintiffs live in Chile, and the sixth lives in Beit Jala.

Recent conflicts between Israel and Palestine [HRW backgrounder] over settlements in the occupied West Bank have raised concerns over possible human rights violations. In March the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said [JURIST report] that the office is concerned about the apparent extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian man in the West Bank. In January Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report] businesses to cease operations in Israel settlements. In August 2015 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both sides of the conflict [JURIST report] to reconcile and move towards peace after an attack occurred in the West Bank village of Duma, where Jewish extremists allegedly set fire to a Palestinian home while the family slept. Last year HRW alleged [HRW report] that Israeli settlement farmers in the occupied West Bank are using Palestinian child laborers in dangerous conditions in violation of international laws.

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