'We exposed the true face of the Palestinian Authority'

Israeli lawyer represents 52 Palestinian Arabs who were tortured by the PA at the International Criminal Court. Arutz Sheva accompanied him.

Eliran Aharon, The Hague ,

International Criminal Court in The Hague
International Criminal Court in The Hague
Eliran Aharon

The testimonies of 52 Palestinian Arabs who suffered brutal abuse at the hands of the Palestinian Authority were presented on Monday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The submission of the testimonies follows a ruling of the Jerusalem District Court, which accepted the claim of the Palestinian Arabs who experienced acts of murder and torture by the Palestinian Authority.

The court invited attorney Barak Kedem, a partner in the Arbus, Kedem, Tzur law firm, who represents the Palestinian Arabs in submitting the testimonies.

You deal with medical negligence. Do you remember a claim of such magnitude that has gone this far?

"I have been dealing with body injuries, medical malpractice and road accidents for many years. I have seen many casualties, but I have not seen ones being abused so brutally. Some of them were executed, some were raped, others were hung upside down, they had their nails and teeth removed, and other unspeakable forms of torture. These are exactly the cases that constitute crimes against humanity and are supposed to be heard by the International Criminal Court in The Hague."

We know the International Criminal Court as one that always comes out against Israel and accuses it of war crimes.

"The Palestinian Authority constantly lodges complaints against Israel, because Israel dares to defend itself. Today we exposed the true face of the Palestinian Authority. While it is filing ridiculous complaints against Israel, it is committing crimes against humanity and its citizens in the most difficult manner. I am glad that the court was attentive to the evidence presented to it today."

I saw you go to the court with a pamphlet containing a summary of the evidence, but there is even more material in your office.

"These are testimonies of torture on an unprecedented scale in dozens of binders. In order to make the information available to the court, we worked together with the Jerusalem Institute of Justice to summarize the testimonies to a 40-page booklet containing the main points of torture so that the court will understand the scope of the crimes against humanity committed here."

On a personal level, how does it feel to go to The Hague as a Jewish lawyer to represent Palestinians who have been tortured by the PA?

"You have to remember that these people risked their lives to prevent terror from inside Israel, some of them paid with their lives, some with their bodies. Who knows how many of us were saved from terror, death and bereavement thanks to the actions of these people. We have a moral obligation to them. That’s why we went with them to the District Court, that’s why we went with them to the Supreme Court and that’s why we came with them here to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to present their testimonies and the terrible suffering they experienced."

The Jerusalem Institute of Justice added, "Suffering that is difficult to understand, great pain, sleepless nights and devastated families. These are just some of the testimonies we bring with us today to the International Criminal Court in The Hague regarding citizens of the Palestinian Authority, who were suspected of collaborating with the State of Israel, and who dared to complain and testify about the atrocities they experienced."

"We, at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, believe that this is a game changer, basing our legal arguments with The Hague and international political bodies on the character of the brutal oppressive regime routinely practiced by the Palestinian Authority leadership towards its citizens."

Watch the full interview with Attorney Barak Kedem (in Hebrew):