[JURIST] Months after a deadly July arson attack that left an 18-month old Palestinian and his parents dead, the Israeli government [Ministry of Justice official site, Hebrew] is making moves to prosecute the Jewish extremists [ABCnews report] suspected to have committed the attacks. The length of time it has taken for the Israeli government to move towards indictment has been met with criticism. Opponents have stated that attacks on Jewish residents by Palestinians have led to swift prosecution while the investigation into this attack has proceeded slowly. The attack has added fuel to the continued conflict between Palestinian and Israeli residents of the West Bank and led to additional Jewish radicals stabbing an image of the child and his parents at an Israeli wedding, which was recorded on video [video, YouTube].
The Israel-Palestine conflict [HRW backgrounder] continues to be a significant international legal issue. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released a report [JURIST report] in August that points to evidence of war crimes committed by Israel in the August 2014 retaliation for the capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas [BBC backgrounder]. The attacks led to 135 Palestinian civilian deaths, including 75 children. That same month [JURIST report], United Nations (UN) [official website] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] and recently appointed UN special envoy in the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov [press release] condemned [UN statement] the arson attacks in the West Bank that killed the Palestinian child and severely wounded the child’s parents and sibling. In June Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that he had presented documents [JURIST report] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to assist in the investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes. Also in June a report released [JURIST report] by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict found that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes during the conflict. In May AI accused [JURIST report] Hamas forces of leading a series of abductions, torturous acts and unlawful killings against Palestinians. In April a UN independent board of inquiry announced [JURIST report] that it uncovered evidence that at least 44 Palestinians were killed by “Israeli actions” while sheltering at UN locations during the Gaza conflict.