3 December 2009
The Hon Robert McClelland MP
PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Dear Mr McClelland,
Australians for Palestine brings to your attention the presence in Australia of suspected war criminal Ehud Olmert, former prime minister of Israel between 4 January 2006 and 31 March 2009.
We make the complaint in regard to his liability for the criminal acts carried out during Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” which was perpetrated against the 1.5 million people in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009.
As you are aware, Division 268 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 applies to persons such as Mr Olmert.
Approximately 1400 Palestinians were killed in that operation – most of them civilians – and the magnitude of the fatalities raises very serious concerns about the way Israel conducted its military operations in Gaza.
The UN-sponsored Goldstone Report uncovered ten instances of Israeli forces directly attacking civilians for which there was no justifiable military objective and in which they must have been aware of the civilian status of those attacked.
Attacks by Israel, which did not distinguish between civilians and combatants, and civilian objects and military objectives are war crimes and may amount to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.… They may also amount to crimes against humanity.… These international crimes are subject to individual criminal liability for those who planned or executed such attacks.
As prime minister, Mr Olmert bears ultimate responsibility for the conduct of Israel’s operation during its assault on Gaza. He no longer holds office and therefore should have no immunity that is relevant to this criminal complaint.