The PAL Law Commission: On War Crimes, Justice, Reparations, and Return Files Complaints with Attorneys General and Real Estate Licensing Authorities in NY & NJ and Serves Involved Parties with Notices and Demands to Cease and Desist, Supported by Lawyers and Legal Organizations Worldwide

In a powerful legal response to the alarming trend of promoters and hosts facilitating the unlawful sale of occupied Palestinian land, the PAL [Palestinian Assembly for Liberation] Law Commission, backed by legal experts, lawyers, and organizations worldwide, has filed notices and complaints with the Attorneys General of New York and New Jersey, along with the real estate licensing authorities of both states, to disallow upcoming Israeli Real Estate Event exhibitions in Teaneck, NJ, Lawrence, NY, and Brooklyn, NY, which are exhibiting and offering properties on West Bank settlements recognized as illegal by the U.S. Department of State and by international law—and has also served formal cease and desist letters alongside notice and demand letters upon all involved parties.

The Commission’s submissions include lengthy legal memorandum outlining the State and Federal Civil and Criminal laws, and the international laws violated by the known actors. The Commission’s preliminary investigation reveals a wider network which the Commission is pursuing in preparation for further submissions to authorities with executive function.

The PAL Law Commission [The Commission] calls upon all hosts, real estate agents, promoters, attorneys, brokers, and other entities involved in the illegal sale of occupied Palestinian land in the U.S. and elsewhere to cease their participation in these activities, including upcoming showcase events in Cedarhurst, NY on March 12 and Flatbush, Brooklyn on March 13, which are illegal under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and Civil Rights Act of 1965, since registration, entry, and participation are denied on the basis of identity (i.e., race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion), and Article 49 of the Geneva Convention- and which may well be in violation of US Federal Criminal Laws, and their state equivalents. These settlements sales may also fall within the purview of Biden’s Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions on Persons Undermining Peace, Security, and Stability in The West Bank. Settlements have been found to be grave breaches of international law, and therefor war crimes, by the International Court [ICJ] of Justice in 2004, and are also currently under review by the ICJ in the context of the case of South Africa v. Israel for crimes of genocide, and by the International Criminal Court.

Attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, along with armed home invasion by settlers and settler groups- often in coordination with Israeli armed forces- in the West Bank have exponentially increased over the past few years and have included pogroms wherein settlers, escorted by soldiers, have repeatedly burned Palestinian homes, towns, and villages. The livestreamed pogroms have included American citizen-settlers. As Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza continues, these sales events are especially alarming and egregious.

In the continued spirit of mobilizing and inspiring legal action against Zionist war crimes and genocide, PAL Law Commission Director Lamis Deek published a redacted skeletal version of one complaint to guide other lawyers, saying, "Imagine seeing your family’s lands being sold online while you helplessly watch, this stirs a rage and a pain that is indescribable. It’s an injustice that should shock the conscience and mobilize authorities and attorneys to action. We briefed these issues quite thoroughly and our investigation has led us to believe that there is a rather wide network of people, organizations and companies involved in criminal actions that violate US and international criminal laws, right under our noses, in broad daylight. We want the army of lawyers to grow and expand their work and their investigations of these operations and to share their information so we can bring an end to these criminal acts, and begin the process of justice and reparations for Palestinians. We will continue our investigations and keep all relevant government authorities apprised so that they may undertake their own investigations and work to stop these rackets. We have also provided thorough legal memorandum analyzing the legal implications of these events and the parties involved so that local and federal government officials can be empowered to take all necessary action. Ignorance of the law is never a defense and we are making sure that all parties involved know that hosting and participating in these events is illegal and should be cancelled - the onus is now on them. We will see if they choose to proceed or cancel these events. While we know that U.S. law only addresses Palestinian lands in the West Bank, we intend to seek justice for every stolen Palestinian home and land, whether stolen in 1967 or 1948 or yesterday. The world has witnessed the Palestinian reality under Israeli colonization for the past 76 years, they can see how the exile and theft of 75% of Palestinian land happened in 1948 as they watch the genocide unfold in Gaza now. The majority of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from Occupied areas or areas taken by Israelis before 1967. Our people have yet to see justice for any crime, the Commission alongside lawyers all over the world intend to bring an end to that era of impunity, and that will include working to dismantle institutions of zionist violence and war crimes that have no place in societies which rely on the rule of law to ensure peace and equality."

“The ongoing genocide in Gaza, one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in this century, is a direct consequence of the impunity that Israel and Israeli advocates have enjoyed for decades, committing their crimes openly and unabashedly in the United States. This attempt at selling land in occupied territories, available only to Jewish people, violates numerous laws, and if allowed, would be the most heinous example of that impunity.” Added PAL Commission Member and Attorney Leena Widdi, who is also a member of Pal-Awda.

The PAL Law Commission urges a swift and comprehensive response from authorities to address these egregious violations. Failure to act risks further perpetuation of injustice, undermines efforts for an end to Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing- sows division between communities in the U.S..

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About the PAL Law Commission on War Crimes, Justice, Reparations, and Return [The Commission]: The Commission is a Palestinian led project, guided by Palestinian self-determination and dedicated to seeking justice, accountability, and the implementation of Palestinians rights. The Commission is primarily focused on securing accountability and reparations for Palestinians harmed by Israeli violence, supremacy, apartheid, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and settler-colonization. The Commission is equally dedicated to using legal and political measures to helping implement the Palestinian Right to Return as enshrined in international law and in UNGA Resolution 194.

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