Activists plan to hold symbolic trial for Israel’s ‘war crimes’

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AMMAN - Women’s rights activists on Sunday said they are planning to hold a symbolic trial in Amman next month for Israel’s “war crimes” against the Gaza Strip.

Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) Legal Coordinator Raedah Freahat said some 27 women's groups are currently preparing a legal petition that they will present to the “peoples’ international criminal court”.

More than 1,300 people were killed in the Israeli offensive, which began in late December. The attacks left over 5,000 Palestinians injured, many with permanent disabilities.

The idea behind the symbolic trial, according to Freahat, is to invite influential international figures, veteran judges and Nobel peace prize winners to participate.

"We are still discussing the date for this big activity, but it will surely be some time in February," she said.

The group also plans to compile all the News3 articles that were written on the atrocities and crimes committed against the Palestinian people, especially women, to submit as evidence during the trial.

The press clippings file will also include all the efforts that were exerted by the women's groups in Jordan to help Gazans.

Freahat also told The Jordan Times that efforts are ongoing by women’s groups to collect donations and goods to send to the coastal enclave.

"Several women’s NGOs that are registered under the JNCW umbrella are holding all kinds of activities to collect money to buy medicine, blankets, clothes, food, etc. to send to Gaza," she said.

JNCW Media Coordinator Rana Shawar said the activity is in accordance with UN Resolution 1325 which addresses the safety and security of women in times of war and conflict.

Adopted in 2000, Resolution 1325 specifically addresses the impact of war on women and their contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. It calls on parties to take action in the areas of decision making, gender perspectives, training in peacekeeping and the protection of women and girls.

During a meeting organised by UNIFEM in November 2008, women leaders stressed that Jordan was committed to ensuring the success of Resolution 1325, which also calls for protecting women living in conflict and war zones, including countries such as Palestine and Iraq.

In July last year, the JNCW formed a national coalition to follow up on Resolution 1325 and draft a national plan of action.

During a meeting in December 2007 with women leaders from around the globe, Her Majesty Queen Rania noted that they must bring more awareness to Resolution 1325, while highlighting the role women can play as “able negotiators for solutions”.