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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 18, 2003

Israel Drafts Int'l Law On Suicide Bombs

How many votes at the UN have the Arab nations to block this? These crimes against humanity will be viewed as the work of "freedom fighters," and other turns of phrases to support the killing of innocent civilians.

Israel is putting the finishing touches on a draft of an international convention against suicide bombings, the Forward has learned.

The goal of the draft, written by a team that includes Israeli Foreign Ministry officials and raised in conversations with the United States and other world powers, is to criminalize both incitement to commit suicide attacks and rewards given to the families of the bombers.

Israel has long insisted that the Palestinian media and schools are grooming suicide bombers and has urged the Palestinian Authority to address the issue. Iraq has also been sending bounties of $10,000 to the families of suicide bombers, just as Israel has been trying to discourage them by destroying their families' houses.

"This is a timely exercise," said Alan Baker, a legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry and the originator of the idea. "The international community is still struggling to define terrorism and we want to add a new component to this unfolding definition. It is important to put it on the agenda."

Baker explained that a team of Foreign Ministry officials and academics is close to presenting a draft. He said Israeli officials had broached the idea with American, Turkish, Indian and Russian officials — "countries likely to endorse the project because they have to cope with terrorism."

Jerusalem is still pondering whether to put the draft convention forth as an Israeli or a collective initiative. [more]