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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

ICC on the Way to Israel…Will This Time be Different?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

{Originally posted to Israel Rising. Written by Orit ben Tzvi}

For the first time since 2014 a major international investigative body is coming to Israel. In the past the ICC took one-sided stances as far as Israel and the “Palestinian” Arab, yet the International Criminal Court has promised that this time would be different.

For one, neither of the past two commissioners of previous investigations have been allowed in the country. Secondly, the ICC and Israel out of mutual interest will be carrying joint press conferences. The question for observers is why?

There are no real answers, but Bibi Netanyahu’s seeming change in approach is most likely due to the ICC coming down from its own tree. Afterall the region has changed from bad to worse, with the Syrian conflict overshadowing anything the ICC has accused Israel of in the past. Furthermore, past investigations have been so one-sided the ICC has lost a great deal of legitimacy.

Perhaps the about-face by Israel has more to do with its new-found involvement in Sub Saharan Africa and increased integration as a tech giant with many of the emerging economies. After all, most of the attacks on Israel throughout the years have been directed from developing nations that have been cajoled to support Arab causes. With this the Arab block losing its leverage on these countries, Israel has far more wiggle room in the international arena.

Don’t Trust Them

That being said, the trip is not just for PR, but to determine whether the ICC needs to step in and run its own investigation on Israel’s actions. This is the same ICC that declared its support for a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria.

The government may feel it is in its best interest to placate the court with a warmer visit, but the ICC as an arm of Western ambitions throughout the region and the developing world does not have Israel’s interest in mind.

Part of the trip, led by chief investigator Fatou Bensouda is to find out if Israel can be trusted to run its own investigation into the 2014 Gaza war as well as the “Palestinian” territories in Judea and Samaria. Although Bensouda recognized Palestinian statehood as per the recommendation of UN General Assembly in 2015, she has since struck a far more conciliatory tone.

Fatah Deputy_Prosecutor

In an interview earlier in the year with the Jerusalem Post Bensouda insists she will only follow the Rome Statute:

“We are not looking, judging the whole judicial system of any state or any system that is supposed to have jurisdiction or that could exercise jurisdiction. We are not looking at the judicial system and how it is functioning. We are looking particularly at specific crimes and we are looking at specific conduct, we’re looking at specific persons, who bear responsibility for those crimes and what is being done with regard to that…and as I always say [we are doing this] in an independent and very dispassionate way and this is very critical whether it is in…any other situation.”

Yet, given Israel’s experience in the past and the wide ability for the ICC to operate once it is allowed to do so, should give Israel pause in how much leeway it gives the court. For now it is still deliberating on keeping the trip to a series of photo-ops or allowing the court to bring reps into Arab villages inside Judea and Samaria.

Israel Rising

Report: Israel ‘Engaging’ With International Criminal Court Over Operation Protective Edge

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Israel is “engaging” with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, according to a report Saturday by the Reuters news agency.

The discussions are a change from the standard Israeli policy of ignoring ICC inquiries or investigations into war crimes claims by the Palestinian Authority against the Jewish State.

This time the claims refer to the conflict with Israel dating back to the summer of 2014, ignited by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens by Hamas terrorists.

That attack eventually led to Operation Protective Edge, the 50-day war with Hamas and its associated terrorist allies – Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – in Gaza.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Reuters in a visit at a UN office in Geneva Thursday, “Israel has agreed to engage with my office and we are exchanging information… If a visit to the region is required, or when it’s required, we will also be making that request to visit,” she said.

Israel was accused of committing war crimes because it fired at sites from which Hamas launched rockets at Israeli civilians and soldiers.

But Hamas planted its rocket and mortar launchers among civilians – within the courtyards of schools and hospitals – and stored its ammunition in UNRWA schools.

The United Nations itself was shown the concrete evidence that its own school buildings and medical clinics were being used as weapons storage facilities by Hamas – but that did not stop the international body from accusing Israel of committing war crimes when the IDF attempted to destroy the source of the attacks on Israeli civilians.

Hana Levi Julian

Spanish Judge Finds Loophole to Allow Arrest of Netanyahu

Monday, November 16th, 2015

A Spanish judge has found a legal loophole to warrant the arrests of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other former Cabinet ministers, but an Israeli government official says it won’t happen.

The judge ruled they can be arrested for supposed war crimes in the IDF’s raid of the Mavi Mamara ship, one of six boats led by IHH terrorists trying to break the maritime embargo on the Hamas terrorist party in Gaza. Judge Jose de la Mata ordered police to keep track of the Israeli officials, who were sued by three Spaniards who were on the Mavi Mamara during the brutal attacks on Navy commandos who boarded the ship virtually unarmed. The Navy team eventually overpowered the attackers, 10 of whom were killed.

Judge de la Mata’s decision changed a former Spanish court ruling that complaints against Israel should be filed with the International Court of Justice (ICC) in Hague, which has taken no action. A United Nations committee ruled that the maritime embargo is legal but that Israel used “excessive force.”

The ruling is more of a psychological victory for the anti-Israel movement. A similar threat by Turkey last year to arrest him was dropped when the Prime Minister apologized to Turkey.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the government is talking with Spain and that the judge’s decision probably will be shelved.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hague Judges Tell Prosecutor to Proceed with 2010 Gaza Flotilla ‘War Crime’ Case

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

A 3-judge panel of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in a 2-1 decision, on Thursday called on the court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her decision not to investigate the 2010 clash between Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists on a flotilla that was on its way to Gaza.

Last year, Bensouda refused a request, to launch a probe into the May 31, 2010 incident, submitted by the Union Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean under whose flag the boarded flotilla boat, the Mavi Marmara, was sailing.

Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists wounded by Israeli commandos, in a botched operation in which the Israelis climbed down a rope, one at a time, to receive severe beatings with metal rods from the activists.

At the time, Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes had been committed on the Mavi Marmara, except she did not believe the case merited an ICC involvement. It appeared that in her view the ICC should use its authority to discern major international confrontations, rather than what amounts to a coast guard boarding gone awry.

On Thursday, the Judges rebuked Bensouda for making “material errors in her determination of the gravity” of the case.

Israel’s Turkel Commission probe of the incident, which, according to Ha’aretz, has met with the approval of the UN investigative committee (the Palmer Committee), found that:

a. The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip – in view of the security circumstances and Israel’s efforts to comply with its humanitarian obligations – was legal pursuant to the rules of international law;

b. The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries. Nonetheless, and despite the limited number of uses of force for which we could not reach a conclusion, the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law. The UN Palmer Committee Report on Gaza Flotilla Incident sided with the Israeli action. In its final summary, it stated:

The blockading power is entitled to board a neutral merchant vessel if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it is breaching a blockade. The blockading power has the right to visit and search the vessel and to capture it if found in breach of a blockade.

Breach could occur outside the blockade zone, including on the high seas where there is evidence of the vessel’s intention. If there is clear resistance to the interception or capture, the blockading power may attack the vessel, after giving a prior warning.

The level of force used to enforce the above-mentioned rights must be proportionate; in particular, it must be limited to the level necessary to achieve the military objective.

So that, should the prosecutor decide to move ahead with the case, the entire debate would inevitably revolve around the proportionality of the IDF soldiers’ use of force.

Should make for an exciting kangaroo court.

JewishPress.com adds:

Judge Peter Kovacs has presented an opposing position to his peers in the ICC, which can be read here.

The key paragraph is the last paragraph where the judge wrote:

Indeed, it is likely that if an investigation was to be conducted most if not all of those acts will not qualify as war crimes within the meaning of article 8 of the Statute, either due to the difficulty in proving the mens rea of the potential suspect(s), or due to the existence of defences under articles 31 or 32 of the Statute (i.e., self-defence or justifiable error on the protected status of those on the Maria Marmara) with regard to the IDF soldiers who intervened in those difficult circumstances. It follows that the lack of prospect for any successful prosecution, together with the relatively low gravity of the alleged crimes makes it clear that the initiation of an investigation in the present situation is unwarranted.

JNi.Media

UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

On Friday, July 3, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a Resolution condemning Israel for violating human rights during the summer of 2014 conflict with Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge.

The resolution was based on the investigation conducted by a committee appointed by the United Nations, and headed by Mary McGowan Davis. The UN’s original choice to head the committee, William Schabas, had to resign from that position when it was revealed that Schabas had been a paid advocate for the PLO. But even the report named both Israel and Hamas as potentially having committed war crimes.

Although purportedly based on the committee report, the resolution was drafted by Palestinian Arabs and Arab states, according to Haaretz.

When the report was released last week, it was blasted by both Israel and the United States.

The United States was the only “nay” vote against the Resolution. Of the 47 member nations in the UNHRC, 41 voted in favor of the Resolution. Germany, France and Ireland were among those voting in favor of the Resolution which condemned Israel – but was completely silent about Hamas – for its conduct during the conflict.

Although only the U.S. voted against the resolution, several states abstained. Those abstaining were India, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Macedonia and Kenya.

The vote took place Friday afternoon, July 3. That same day Israel was fired at from the Sinai, on the heels of vicious attacks against Egyptians by ISIS affiliates, while violent unrest roils the region. An ISIS affiliate claimed it was responsible for the rocket from Sinai.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had this to say about the vote:

“On the day on which Israel was fired at from Sinai, and at a time when ISIS is committing vicious terrorist attacks in Egypt, as Assad slaughters his people in Syria and as the number of arbitrary executions per annum climbs in Iran — the U.N. Human Rights Council decides to condemn the State of Israel for no fault of its own, for acting to defend itself from a murderous terrorist organization.

“Israel is a stable democracy in the Middle East that upholds equal rights for all its citizens and acts in accordance with international law.Those who fear to openly attack terrorism will – in the end – be attacked by terrorism.

“The council that has hitherto adopted more decisions against Israel than against all other countries cannot call itself a human rights council.The State of Israel will continue to defend its citizens against those who call for its destruction and take daily action to achieve this goal.”

The Resolution calls on all parties to comply with an investigation currently underway but the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court to determine whether a case based on the allegations in the report and the UNHRC Resolution should proceed there.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Attack on Yemeni Refugees Makes Israel Look Like the Girl Scouts

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

A Saudi-led air strike has killed at least 40 refugees in Yemen and wounded 200 others, but the coalition says Houthi terrorists were using humans as shields to cover their attacks.

Sound familiar?

A war crime is not necessarily a war crime if anyone other than Israel is defending itself against terrorists who violate the Geneva Convention by using human beings, including children, as protective shields.

The Reuters news agency quoted an unidentified humanitarian worker as saying that the airstrike hit a truck carrying Houthi militiamen near the camp’s entrance.

Foreign media have reported that the Saudi-led attack on the Yemeni camp without the usual immediate denunciation by the United Nations when Israel bombs terrorist targets.

But leave it to the Arabs to keep “Israeli war crimes” in the headlines.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, despite being one of the more intelligent members of the Palestinian Authority, accused Israel of war crimes on Monday because Jerusalem granted permission for the construction of 143 new apartments in Har Homa, located north of Bethlehem.

The project is nothing new, and the permission simply places a check mark next to another bureaucratic step in Israel’s convoluted process of building a house.

For Ashrawi, it was as if Israel had bombed a refugee camp. She said:

This latest development is an additional war crime as stipulated by the Rome Statute, and the occupation authorities will be held accountable by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other venues for its continued aggression on the lands and resources of the state of Palestine.

As of tomorrow, April Fool’s Day, the Palestinian Authority officially becomes a member of the ICC, where it can try to sue Israel for killing civilians whom Hamas used as human  shields in last summer’s war in Gaza,.

Even Amnesty, in a report last week, has admitted that Hamas and other terrorist groups violated humanitarian law by “storing rockets and other munitions in civilian buildings – including UN schools – and [that it] launched attacks or stored munitions very near locations where hundreds of displaced civilians were taking shelter.”

If the Palestinian Authority wants to go to the ICC to sue Israel for bomb including terrorists and killing civilians hidden by them, then Saudi Arabia should be next in line for the attack on Yemen’s refugee camps.

The old “double standard” could be raised, arguing that Israel is guilty because it is Israel and Saudi Arabia is innocent because it is Saudi Arabia, but that is becoming harder for foreign media to justify in the wake of continued Palestinian Authority incitement and praise for terror.

The Palestinian Authority has not reacted to the bombing of the Yemeni camp by the Saudi-led force, to which Ramallah has given its blessing, for what it is worth.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

What Will Schabas Do for $1300?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Mirabelle writing at Israellycool has pointed out something very important.

Mirabelle points out that Schabas claims he had no real financial gain from his work for the PLO, and therefore the charges of bias and conflict of interest are incorrect:

In his continuing effort to claim that he is just a victim of the Zionist cabal, Schabas points out that he received only $1300 in compensation for the work he did for the PLO. Therefore, he claims, he had no real financial motive for bias. This argument, however, reveals more about him that what he intends.

Mirabelle then provides a description of the work was that Schabas did for the PLO:

His description of the work that he did for the PLO is a seven-page legal opinion on issues involving Palestinian statehood and the International Criminal Court. This would likely involve hours of research on obscure issues about which Schabas had a rare expertise. If Schabas had charged a fair price for such work, the bill could have easily been ten times the amount charged, or more. He basically did the work for the PLO close to free of charge.

How many lawyers do you know would only charge $1300 for a 7 page brief in an incredibly esoteric area of legal expertise?

None that I can think of, unless they have personal interest or sympathy for the client or the cause.

A trial lawyer Schabas won’t be with holes in his argument so wide you can launch an entire battery of Hamas rockets through it.

It’s bad enough Schabas did work for the PLO and didn’t disclose that information, which is certainly enough reason to have disqualified him in the first place, but by not taking fair compensation for his efforts, he confirmed where his sympathies and bias lies – which means his entire “investigation” is tainted with that bias, as will be the final report, whether his name is on it or not.

Out of curiosity, what else Schabas will do for a mere $1300?

The letter sent by Israel to the UNHRC: Letter to UN on Schabas

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/what-will-schabas-do-for-1300/2015/02/04/

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