ICC Communication: Destruction and expropriation of Palestinian property

Israel is unlawfully depriving Palestinian civilians of property, both for settlements and in circumstances not justified by military necessity.

Palestinians have been systematically deprived of their land and housing rights for decades. Since 1967, Israel has taken over much of the land in the West Bank from Palestinians in large part to serve the needs of Israeli settlers. Israeli authorities have confiscated more than one-third of the land in the West Bank and expropriated nearly one-third of the land in East Jerusalem. Land that has been seized by the Israeli Army for “security purposes” often have no rational (let alone necessary) justification for such seizures and, in many cases, such land is not utilised for any security purpose.

The UN Human Rights Committee have recently raised deep concerns at the continued construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem, and Israel’s interference with full access of Palestinians to their lands and livelihoods therein, through wrongful expropriation, confiscation, requisitions and encroachment. The Committee has called for Israel to put an end to the practice of expropriating, and declaring as State land, private land owned by Palestinians for settlement purposes.

The Israeli authorities have systematically refused to recognise the rights of Palestinians to land that has been taken for purported reasons of military necessity or for the purposes of allowing settlements. 

On 17 August 2022, a ‘gateway’ Communication was submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in relation to land that has been appropriated from two families – the Salhiah family in East Jerusalem and the Kadih family in Gaza. The Communication, submitted by Bindmans LLP, in partnership with the ICJP, and Monckton Chambers, details the decades of attempts by Israel, including through the use of force, to appropriate land and destroy property, belonging to Palestinian families which has provided a home and income for several generations of the same families. This initial Communication is to be followed by evidence of numerous other cases of illegal land appropriation and/or property destruction by Israeli authorities in the OPT.

The victims in the above Communications have instructed Bindmans LLP, in partnership with ICJP, with Conor McCarthy and Julianne Morrison of Monckton Chambers acting as Counsel.

Press releases:

17 August 2022: “Gateway” War Crimes Case submitted against Israel for Property Crimes on behalf of Sheikh Jarrah’s Salhiah Family and others

25 January 2022: Press Release: Salhiah Family to Bring Home Destruction Complaint to International Criminal Court

Media Coverage:

18 August 2022: Palestinian justice organisation submits war crimes complaint against Israel to ICC (The New Arab)

18 August 2022: Israel’s Property Seizures Constitute a War Crime (Al Bawaba)

17 August 2022: Palestinians submit war crimes complaint against Israel in the ICC (Middle East Eye)

22 January 2022: Jerusalem Salhiah family to bring home demolition case to ICC (Khamakar Press)

22 January 2022: Al-Quds’ Salhiah family to bring home demolition case to ICC (Qods News Agency)

21 January 2022: Jerusalem Salhiah family to bring home demolition case to ICC (Middle East Monitor)