05:49 GMT15 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israeli farmers living near the Gaza border will file a lawsuit in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the leadership of Hamas, over damages made to their fields by cross-border incendiary balloon and kite attacks, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the head of the Israeli civil rights organization Shurat HaDin, said on Monday.

    "The existing security reality in which fields and forests in Israel are being burned every day by activists from a terrorist organization is unacceptable. It is not acceptable that senior figures in Hamas accuse Israel of war crimes while they use [their] civilian population, particularly children, as a human shield for their terrorist activities – which are repeatedly directed at the citizens of Israel. As a result, we are calling on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to bring them to justice," Darshan-Leitner was quoted as saying by the Haaretz newspaper.

    According to the news outlet, the farmers claim that the leadership of Hamas, a Sunni-Islamist organization in control of the Palestinian enclave, has violated the ICC's Rome Statute by burning their fields with these balloons, attacking the Israeli border and using children in combat.

    READ MORE: Palestine Slams US for End of UNRWA Funding Program

    The farmers are also planning to stage a rally in front of the ICC's building, holding photos of the devastated fields. A total of 50,000 individuals worldwide have reportedly signed the complaint drafted by Shurat HaDin.

    READ MORE: Hamas Says Short-Term Truce With Israel Possible, But Keeps Missiles at Hand

    Since late March, when Palestinians launched weekly protest campaigns at the Gaza border, the long-existing tensions in the region have escalated. Hamas-led militants have recently started releasing incendiary balloons across the border into the southern part of Israel to cause fires.

    READ MORE: Palestinian ‘Great March of Return' Protests in Gaza Strip Continue (VIDEO)

    lawsuit, farmers, Hamas, International Criminal Court (ICC), Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel
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