The International Criminal Court (ICC) (ICC ruling on Israel) has ruled it has jurisdiction in Palestinian territories over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories. So what is next for Israel and will the ICC investigate war crimes by Israeli authorities, or is this just a symbolic gesture?!
To outline the principals of the ruling this new ICC jurisdiction applies to Hamas and any other Palestinian authority and Israel under its jurisdiction, so it applies to both sides.
However, one side rejoiced at the ruling and the other vehemently opposed it. It is also worth considering this process was well underway about 20 months ago but the Trump administration attacked the credibility of the ICC, which some have suggested is why it didn’t publish the ruling until this year. Because of the international opposition, it would have received.
The ICC ruling on Israel & War Crimes
The decision prompted swift objections from both Israel and the United States. Which begs the question, if a country is soundly comfortable with its human rights or conflict acts, as Isreal is and has told us on numerous occasions, then why would that country be nervous about such a decision!?
The Israeli government has taken out adverts to discredit the ICC on google, using google display platform.
The Palestinian Authority, which welcomed the ruling. But there is a hint of scepticism in the air for the Palestinians, as Israel and the United States are heavily lobbying the ICC ruling on Israel and pushing for it to be overturned or exclude Israel.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was a “historic day for the principle of accountability.”
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, described the decision as “an important development that contributes to protecting the Palestinian people.”
“We urge the international court to launch an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Abu Zuhri, who is currently outside Gaza.
Almost immediately the US State Department spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter: “The United States objects to today’s @IntlCrimCourt decision regarding the Palestinian situation.”
“We will continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” Price added.
ICC has an impartial mandate
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office was studying the decision and would decide what to do next “guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate” to prosecute grave war crimes and atrocities when countries are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.
The ICC judges said their decision was based on the fact that Palestine has been granted membership to the tribunal’s founding treaty, and had referred the situation to the court. The judges said the jurisdiction decision does not imply any attempt to determine Palestinian statehood, which is uncertain, or national borders.
“The Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine … extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” they said.
Bensouda had found in December 2019 that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
She named both the Israeli Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.
Netanyahu calls it Antisemitism
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the decision, saying in a video statement: “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure antisemitism.”
He condemned the court for investigating Israel when it “defends itself against terrorists” while refusing to investigate what he said were brutal dictatorships in Iran and Syria that committed horrific atrocities almost daily.
“We will fight this perversion of justice with all our might,” Netanyahu said in the video, shaking a fist.
Human Rights Watch called the ICC ruling on Israel “pivotal” and said it “finally offers victims of serious crimes some real hope for justice after a half-century of impunity,” said Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director.
…………………………………………….Leave a comment