Gaza Border Farmers Take on Hamas at International Court of Justice

Israeli farmers protest against Hamas Leaders in front the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday. (Reuters/Eva Plevier)

A group of Israeli farmers from the south left for The Hague on Monday, intending to file a petition with the International Court of Justice against Hamas. The petition, to be filed with the assistance of the Israel Law Center (Shurat Hadin), charges Hamas with terrorism and demands compensation for losses due to the ongoing kite and balloon terror attacks.

The petition is to be filed as a class-action lawsuit, demanding compensation on behalf of some 50,000 residents and farmers in the Gaza border area who have been affected by the terror attacks. As the petition is filed inside the court, farmers will hold a special display outside the building, illustrating the damage caused by the Hamas-initiated fires.

This is the first civilian response to the ongoing terror attacks, in which Hamas terrorists attach flammable material to kites and balloons and launch them in the direction of Israel, where they land and set fire to farms and forests. Some 10,000 dunams of forest land have been destroyed, and the fires have also wreaked havoc with the daily routine of tens of thousands of Israelis, the petition says.

The petition specifically charges Hamas with violations of the Rome Convention, which prohibits involving or using a civilian population as a means of making war. Most of the balloons and kites are released by civilians, working under the direction of Hamas.

Israel Law Center head, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, said that “the current security situation, in which fields and forests are attacked and destroyed, is unacceptable, especially given that Hamas accuses Israel of war crimes, as they are using their civilian population – especially children – as human shields to perpetrate their repeated terror attacks against Israelis. We call on the court to prosecute Hamas to the full extent of its power.”