Activists in Beirut urge justice over Israeli war crimes

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Around seventy activists held a sit-in Wednesday outside the U.N. headquarters in Downtown Beirut and called for the trial of Israeli war crimes, a day ahead of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

Outside the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia building in Beirut, protesters raised flags of Palestine, Lebanon and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, urging the trial of Israel over war crimes against Palestinians.

“Stop the slaughters and put the Zionist war criminals on trial,” read a large banner signed by the DFLP.

“They killed children you protectors of nations,” the banner addressed to the U.N. said.

Demonstrators also handed in a memo addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon which urged that Israel be brought to justice over crime against Palestinians.

“For over six decades of Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, the international resolutions are still unable to take real measures to stop the large-scale murder of Palestinians by Israel,” the memo said.

“We urge the U.N. to punish Israeli war criminals for committing crimes against humanity and put an end to all sorts of Israeli violations against Palestine,” it added.

The protesters also expressed hope that Palestine would get enough international support to enhance its status at the United Nations to that of a non-member observer state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to submit a request to the U.N. General Assembly seeking that non-member observer status for the Palestinians at the international organization.

If approved by the 193 member states, Palestinians are likely to be granted access to a range of U.N. agencies and also potentially to the International Criminal Court.

The United States and Israel have opposed the U.N. application, insisting that only direct talks on a peace accord can produce an agreement that will create a Palestinian state.

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