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.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to wish him “Happy Eid a-Ftir, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Israeli media tried to make the most out of the phone call, looking for all kinds of signs that Netanyahu and Abbes secretly have been speaking with each other towards another attempt to allow the United States to believe they are interested in the “peace process.”
Considering the Palestinian Authority’s insistence on trying to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, there really is not much to talk about, except to say “hi” on a holiday.
The office of the Prime Minister reported:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today ([Friday] spoke with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and wished him a happy Eid al-Fitr.
The Prime Minister told the PA Chairman that the citizens of Israel want peace and added that Israel would continue to act toward regional stability.
The Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem and considered close to Abbas, noted that the last time Netanyahu spoke with Abbas was in June 2104, after Hamas terrorists in the Hebron area kidnapped three yeshiva youth, who nearly three weeks later were found murdered.
The Prime Minister had asked Abbes for help in finding the teenagers and the terrorists.
Since then, Palestinian Authority terrorism has sharply escalated.
Last week, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said it had arrested terrorists who killed a 70-year-old Israeli farmer. One of them was a member of the Palestinian Authority Force 17.
Next year at the end of Ramadan, if Netanyahu and Abbas remain in their current positions. maybe they will talk to each other.
(JNi.media) The Netanyahu government has decided to change policy and begin talks with Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
A senior Israeli official has told Ha’aretz that “the purpose of the talks is just to clarify Israel’s position that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear Hague Palestinian complaints” against the Jewish State.
According to Ha’aretz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided recently to open a dialogue with the prosecutor’s office in the Hague, after consulting with representatives from the Foreign Ministry (which he heads), the Justice Ministry, the IDF and the National Security Council.
The talks will be conducted by a professional team of representatives from various government ministries, who’ll be meeting with representatives of the Prosecutor while maintaining a low profile.
Israeli sources have insisted that the initiative does not constitute cooperation with the preliminary inquiry that the Hague Court is conducting over the Palestinian Authority’s request for a war-crimes trial against Israel. The sole purpose of this move is to persuade the court that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the Palestinians because Palestine is not a state, and because Israel’s judicial system is democratic and independent and has proven itself as willing and able to prosecute complaints of alleged war crimes.
The senior Israeli official speaking to Ha’aretz said the government believes the Prosecutor erred when she decided to open a preliminary inquiry.
“Israel has no obligation to cooperate with the preliminary inquiry conducted by the Prosecutor’s office,” he reiterated. But the decision has been made simply so that the Palestinian side won’t be the only one being heard.
Israel might also be open to discuss a visit by representatives of the Prosecutor’s office in Israel and Judea and Samaria. Such a visit is routine procedure for preliminary examinations conducted by the Prosecutor, but the Palestinians have been known to create provocation on similar occasions.
Israel has no patience for street theater when its reputation is at stake, and so the official stressed that “Israel expects the Prosecutor’s office will perform a careful, professional, independent and impartial investigation, and will not encourage the Palestinians to attempt to turn the court into a political tool or a publicity stunt.”
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.
The first of three or four boats trying to break Israel’s anti-terror maritime embargo on Gaza left the Greek island of Crete Friday morning and is scheduled to dock in Gaza on Sunday or morning.
Israel has said that the boats will not reach Gaza under any circumstances.
The Israeli Navy will stop the flotilla, as it has done in the past, but activists say that since the Marianne of Gothenburg boat flies the Swedish flag, Israel could be accused of a war crime
“War crime” is the buzz words these days, usually referring to any action by Israel that does not further the aims of the Palestinian Authority, which yesterday said it is bringing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) charges that building homes for Jews and a highway in Jerusalem are war crimes.
Pro-Hamas activists have learned their lessons from previous publicity stunts and are keeping mum on the boats’ location, a rather childish act since the IDF has enough surveillance equipment to know exactly where they are without any help from the flotilla’s public relations staff.
The departure date of the flotilla had been delayed. Activists claim that Israeli agents sabotaged at least one of the boats, but others say that inclement weather forced the activists to postpone their trip.
As usual, the activists are trying to attract as much attentions as possible and have brought an Israeli Arab Knesset Member with them. MK Basel Ghattas and a former Tunisian president are among the 70 people on board the lead ship.
Organizers of the flotillas have assured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that they are not bringing any weapons with them. In 2010, Turkish-based terrorists used iron bars and two pistols to challenge Israeli Navy officers who boarded the Mavi Mamara ship. Ten of the terrorists were killed in the clash.
“If there is some kind of violent confrontation, it won’t come from our side,” a left-wing Israeli activist said.
The Marianne is carrying one solar panel and medical supplies, all of which can easily reach Gaza by land from Israel. A single solar panel is absolutely useless, except as propaganda to “con the world,” as seen in the video below.
Lost in the hype and reports by establishment media that are hungry for anti-Israel news is the fact the solar panels and medical supplies cannot enter Gaza so freely from Egypt, which has blocked passage several times, including this past month.
The last word in the new flotilla stunt already has been written: The IDF will stop the boats before they can get too close to Gaza, the Foreign Ministry told The JewishPress.com.
If the passengers indeed are unarmed, the whole scene will be a circus for the media.
The IDF will warn the captain of the boats not to proceed. He will refuse, forcing the Navy to surround the ships.
The Navy officers will try to find a way to take over the wheel if the captain does not cooperate.
Everyone will arrive in the port of Ashdod, and the passengers will call the soldiers “war criminals” and perhaps will sit down in a circle and clasp hands, singing “We shall overcome” as four soldiers haul each passenger off the boat.
The news photographers will love it, and perhaps Gaza terrorists will celebrate by launching a rocket or two at Israel.
If they are lucky, the missiles won’t fall short and explode on a house in Gaza, in which case Israel would be accused of committing a war crime because the “occupation made them do it.”
Below is the video “We Con the World,” produce by the Latma satirical group after the Mavi Mamaras clash five years ago.
The Palestinian Authority has announced it plans to submit detailed files to the Geneva office of the International Criminal Court on Thursday, alleging Israeli “war crimes” against its leadership and people.
In a statement released by the Palestine Liberation Organization – the only entity legally entitled to represent Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – it was clear the files were prepared as some sort of alternative to The Schabes Report issued earlier in the week by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“The delivery of this information is considered a fundamental step in the process of ending Israeli impunity and bringing justice to the Palestinian people,” the statement read. “The files to be presented to the court refer to war crimes and crimes committed by individuals of the Israeli leadership… The files include statistics on settlements, prisoners, as well as statistics on Israel’s aggression and attack on Gaza 2014.”
The PLO added the report, to be submitted by PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki and a team of lawyers, had been “months” in the making.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon called it “nothing more than Palestinian public relations,” saying the report was a “crude and cynical attempt to politicize the work of the ICC.” He added, “We hope the ICC will not fall into the trap.”
President Barack Obama has invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a “working visit” to the White House two weeks after a deal with Iran is to be signed but before Congress will decide whether or not to ratify it, State Dept. sources told Yediot Achronot.
The office of the Prime Minister made no comment, and time will tell if the White House is telling the truth by denying the report.
The visit is supposed to take place on July 15 or 16, according to the Israeli newspaper.
The timing makes perfect sense for President Obama, whose mastery as a manipulator cannot be matched by anyone except Prime Minister Netanyahu, which probably explains their war-like relationship.
If the report is correct, and it probably is, it means that President Obama is confident that the talks with Iran over its nuclear program will be over before then. Obama has set a deadline of June 30 for a deal, but if history is a guide, it likely will be extended by one or even a few days.
If there is no deal, then Obama can welcome Netanyahu and say, “See, I told you that you could count on me not to make a “bad deal.”
If there is a deal, Congress has 30 days to have its say, and Netanyahu would not have such an easy time denouncing the deal in the White House as he did in Congress last March. The Prime Minister would have to face the cameras as President Obama expounds on how much he has done for Israel while promising he will never, never, never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon or do anything that would endanger Israel.
President Obama also would offer Israel large bribes of military aid in exchange for its buying the deal.
If Netanyahu were to speak out against it without being 100 percent sure of being able to prove it endangers Israel’s security, which is difficult because it means proving an hypothesis, he would have to do as he sits next to the President in the Oval Office, with the cameras capturing every body gesture and word.
Americans’ overblown patriotism does not suffer a foreign official publicly telling their president he is wrong Netanyahu would risk losing American support for Israel against the Palestinian Authority campaign for backing in the United Nations and International Criminal Court.
Obama could refrain from vetoing a Security Council vote to make the Palestinian Authority a full member of the United Nations, thereby giving it de facto recognition of its definition of Israel’s borders.
Obama may or not have led one of the United States’ most disastrous foreign policies, but he has done so by masterfully putting everyone else in their place.
Netanyahu is an excellent chess player, but he might be checked when playing on Obama’s board.