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March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘International Criminal Court’

US Strongly Backs Israel over ICC Move to Probe Israel for War Crimes

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has strongly attacked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for opening a probe of alleged Israeli war comes and left open the question whether the ICC even has the a right to conduct a probe of last year’s war with Hamas.

The State Dept. called the ICC announcement a “tragic irony,” a statement that was further bolstered by praise for the ICC decision by Hamas, which may find itself under the ICC microscope.

Jeff Rathke, director of the State Dept. press office, stated:

We strongly disagree with the ICC Prosecutor’s action today. As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC.

He told reporters at Friday’s daily press briefing:

We don’t think that the Palestinians have established a state, and we don’t think they’re eligible to join the International Criminal Court. I would highlight that many other countries share this view.

In answer to a question whether the ICC is conducting “an illegitimate preliminary examination,” Rathke responded, ” I’m not going to characterize it.,” and he declined to say one way or the other if the United States will appeal to the ICC to drop the preliminary examination.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Sec. of State John Kerry Friday and asked him to intervene against the ICC on behalf of Israel

Hamas was thrilled by the ICC decision and declared on Saturday, “We are ready to provide (the court) with thousands of reports and documents that confirm the Zionist enemy has committed horrible crimes against Gaza and against our people.”

“Tragic irony” is an excellent definition of the ICC decision, which is even more astonishing since it apparently follows a complaint by the Palestinian Authority, which will not be a member of the ICC until April 1.

Technically, the ICC is off the hook of overreaching its authority.

The “Rome Statute” concerning war crimes states that non-members cannot ask for an investigation of war crimes.

The ICC got around this restriction by stating it is “examining” whether an investigation should be conducted, and it obviously cannot make a decision until April 1.

But how can the ICC examine alleged war crimes dating back to last year, when the Palestinian Authority did not even apply for ICC membership.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas presented documents to the ICC giving it authority to act retroactively.

The ICC stated it will open its examination on alleged Israeli war crimes in last summers’ war with “full independence and impartiality.”

If so, it will have a hard time ignoring Hamas war crimes, which Israel documented day by day in the war, having learned to do so after the United Nations’ scathing Goldstone Report that barely mentioned Hamas’ war crimes in the three-week Operation Cast Lead counter-terrorist campaign in late December 2008 and early January 2009.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the ICC announcement of a preliminary examination as based on an “outrageous request” by the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Mazen Will Cancel ICC Bid for Restarting Negotiations

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Abu Mazen is trying to climb down out of the International Criminal Court tree he climbed himself into.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Achbar, reports that PA President Mahmoud “Abu Mazen” Abbas told the Egyptian president that if Israel restarts negotiations with him within the next few weeks, he won’t sue senior Israeli officials in the Hague.

The Israeli legal organization, Shurat Hadin / Israel Law Center, has already prepared and submitted multiple law suits to the ICC against senior PA officials, in preparation for the PA being accepted to the ICC.

Abbas may have woken up to the fact that he will be the one on the defendant’s chair soon enough.

UN Says PA to Join ICC on April 1

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the Palestinian Authority will be joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, 2015.

Ki-Moon says he is holding all the application papers.

The PA wants to use the ICC to attack Israel on yet another front.

In response, The Israel Law Center / Shurat HaDin organization has already filed several terrorism charges against the PA/PLO, in anticipation of their becoming a member.

Israel Threatens Legal Challenges Against Pal-Arab Leaders, Following ICC Move

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

On Friday the Palestinian Liberation Organization filed for membership in the International Criminal Court. Mahmoud Abbas and those he leads filed for membership in the ICC after the Resolution seeking to force Israel to “end the occupation of Palestine within three years”  failed to be voted out with approval from the United Nations Security Council last week.

No one doubts that the only reason the Palestinian Arabs moved to join the ICC was to use it as a chip to threaten Israel with prosecution for alleged war crimes.

Given the many documented acts of wrongdoing on the part of Mahmoud Abbas and other acting leaders of the Palestinian Arabs, however, threatening lawsuits is a game two can play.

Israeli officials have long hinted at bringing claims against members of the Palestinian Arab leadership, should any processes be begun against Israel at the ICC. Israel has several options of fora: either at the ICC, although that is expected only to be brought as a counterclaim if the ‘State of Palestine’ hauls Israel into the dock, or in courts in the United States or elsewhere.

Abbas has repeatedly charged Israel with war crimes for all kinds of things, some of which, like today’s decision by Israel to withhold tax money from the PA for joining the ICC, has nothing to do with a war or war crimes.

Abbas made himself vulnerable to charges of war crimes for actions by Hamas when under his leadership the Palestinian Authority in April entered into a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas. Instances of Hamas using human shields and locating rocket launchers amongst civilians are the kinds of claims that may be brought against Abbas and others.

The United States strongly condemned the decision by the Palestinian Arabs to join the ICC, and members of congress have already begun threatening to cut off funding for the PA, as a consequence.

It will take about two months for the processing of the ICC membership paperwork delivered on Friday by the Palestinian Arab ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour.

‘Palestinian Authority Not a State, Can’t Sue in ICC’

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas can sign as many treaties as he wants – even the Rome Statute – but the bottom line remains that Ramallah signatures do not a sovereign nation create. Without being a nation, one cannot indict a nation either.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bluntly reminded Abu Mazen – the terrorist name by which Abbas is known in the Arab world – of that reality in remarks following a discussion at the prime minister’s office in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

“We expect the International Criminal Court to reject outright the Palestinian Authority’s hypocritical act because the Palestinian Authority is not a state,” Netanyahu stated. “It is an entity in alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas, which perpetrates war crimes.

“The State of Israel is a nation of laws with a moral army that upholds international law,” he continued. “We will defend the soldiers of the IDF just as they defend us.”

Netanayhu met with officials on the Palestinian Authority’s accession to 20 international treaties in addition to joining the ICC.

Earlier in the day Abbas filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC) accusing Israel of committing war crimes in “Palestine” at various times since June 13, 2014.

The move came one day after the United Nations Security Council voted to reject a resolution granting statehood to the PA and forcing Israel to withdraw by 2017 from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day War.

Abbas Accuses Israel of War Crimes at Intl Criminal Court

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague on Thursday to investigate accusations Israel committed war crimes “committed in Palestine” since June 13, 2014.

The declaration was signed by Abbas on Thursday morning according to a local source who spoke with Haaretz, one day after he signed the Rome Statute, enabling the PA to join the ICC.

Early Thursday morning, officials submitted the Rome Statute document as well as letters of accession signed Wednesday by Abbas entering the PA into 20 additional international treaties, according to the WAFA news agency.

The flurry of signatures followed Tuesday’s rejection by the United Nations Security Council of a resolution calling for recognition of the PA as a sovereign state and the withdrawal of Israel by 2017 from all post-1967 territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday in a brief statement that Abbas would cause more harm than good for his own people, should he attempt a criminal indictment of Israel at the ICC.

Past similar attempts have all failed because neither party was a member of the Court, which has no jurisdiction over nations who are not a signatories to the Rome Statute.

While Abbas signed the Rome Statute on behalf of the PA unity government, Israel has not joined the Court – and thus the ICC still legally has no jurisdiction over the Jewish State.

Whether in fact the Court now has jurisdiction over any geographic area conquered by Israel in 1967 – including the territory of the Palestinian Authority — is a murky question that will undoubtedly be debated among international attorneys for some time.

Some of those areas — such as the Golan Heights and the parts of Jerusalem restored to Israel’s capital during the war — have been formally annexed by the State of Israel. Members of the international community do not recognize this status, however.

If the signature by Abbas validates the jurisdiction of the Court over PA territory – which includes parts of Judea and Samaria as well as all of Gaza – it raises another question.

Perhaps a member nation – Canada, the United States or any other who has lost a citizen to PA Arab terrorism – may launch a counter-suit.

What then might be the result of a petition to the Court to investigate “Palestine’s” record on war crimes and crimes against humanity instead?

Wiesenthal Center Urges US to Reconsider PA Funding After ICC Move

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

A day after the Palestinians failed to gain the support of the UN Security Council to set a date for Israeli withdrawal and Palestinian Statehood, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing another path to gain recognition as a state without negotiating with the Jewish state by seeking to make itself a party to the International Criminal Court.

“Once again President Abbas has signaled the world that he refuses to do any of the heavy lifting of a true peace builder,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Founder and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO. “Court Israel, not the ICC to get a Palestinian State,” they added.

“Further, Mr. Abbas and his cronies, in the Palestinian Authority as well as Hamas and its leadership are in for a surprise,” the Rabbis said, adding, “While they pursue phony charges of war crimes against Israel, they themselves will have to wait behind a long line of thousands of bereaved families whose lives were destroyed by Palestinian terrorists as well as face charges of incitement to genocide.”

“The Wiesenthal Center urges the appropriate U.S. Committees in the Senate and House to convene hearings as soon as possible to discuss the impact on U.S. funding of the PA in light of Abbas’ move,” Hier and Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/wiesenthal-center-urges-us-to-reconsider-pa-funding-after-icc-move/2014/12/31/

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