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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

International Criminal Court at The Hague Has No Jurisdiction in Gaza

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been threatening for weeks to charge Israel with war crimes at the International Criminal Court at the The Hague.

But this week, suddenly, PA delegates are saying they “might” be willing to “delay” the PA’s application to international agencies – including the ICC – if they are able to close a deal with Israel within the next four months.

Why?

It turns out the answer is to be found in a clear, elegant and blunt article published in the UK-based newspaper ‘The Guardian,’ penned by Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the ICC.

Bensouda explains that the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, mandates that the prosecutor investigate and prosecute crimes “committed on the territory or by the nationals of states that have joined the ICC statute or which have otherwise accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC through an ad hoc declaration to that effect pursuant to article 12-3 of the statute.”

In plain language, the ICC has no jurisdiction over ‘Palestine,’ over the Palestinian Authority, over PA-controlled territory in Judea, Samaria or Gaza. Nor does Israel consider itself under the jurisdiction of the Court for various legal reasons.

“In November 2012, Palestine’s status was upgraded by the UN General Assembly to “non-member observer state” through the adoption of resolution 67/19. My office examined the legal implications of this development and concluded that while this change did not retroactively validate the previously invalid 2009 declaration, Palestine could now join the Rome Statute,” Bensouda wrote.

However, the PA has not yet done so, probably in part because if it does, the PA leadership will be just as liable to prosecution as will anyone else.

That’s pretty scary.

“In both practice and words, I have made it clear in no uncertain terms that the office of the prosecutor will execute its mandate, without fear or favour, where jurisdiction is established and will vigorously pursue those – irrespective of status or affiliation – who commit mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity,” Bensouda wrote. “My office’s approach to Palestine will be no different if the court’s jurisdiction is ever triggered over the situation.

“It is my firm belief that recourse to justice should never be compromised by political expediency. The failure to uphold this sacrosanct requirement will not only pervert the cause of justice and weaken public confidence in it, but also exacerbate the immense suffering of the victims of mass atrocities. This, we will never allow.”

The question of course is how the International Criminal Court at The Hague would view the unbelievable number of incidents of use of human shields in Gaza documented by the IDF. Not to mention the exploitation of the “neutral” United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) by Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza during wartime. That is use of human shields also – several of those facilities were filled with civilians displaced due to combat – not to mention use of UN cover.

Add to that the mass executions of local civilians Hamas suspected of collaboration with Israel – and for that matter, the executions they continue to carry out in service of that fear. Hamas, after all, is a member of the PA unity government now; what Hamas does, everyone is liable for.

All of which the PA would be inviting the ICC to fully investigate. And which Israel has substantiated with documented evidence in objective detail. Not eyewitnesses, who can be manipulated, intimidated and forced into distorted testimony, but satellite imagery, photograph stills and video footage.

Does Abbas want to risk that? Is the United States recommending he risk that? For that matter, the European Union and US might even have a part to play as well; both fund the Palestinian Authority quite liberally, and the PA government in Ramallah continues to pay the monthly salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israel. More than a few were released due to diplomatic pressure from the US, and have since returned to their old ways. What part did they play in the war in Gaza? Probably the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) knows.

What Could Possibly Still Be On the Table?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I’ve got to believe that today’s story about Kerry trying to restart Israeli final status talks with the Palestinian Authority is the product of a delusional mind.

Let’s step back a second, and ask what could possibly still be on the table after the summer we just had.

1) PA control over the Jordan Valley?

Nothing would make ISIS happier than no more Israeli forces poised to defend Jordan from invasion and takeover. Not to mention no Israeli forces protecting Israel’s border.

Would the State Department really abandon Jordan that way?

2) Israel pulling out of parts of Judea and Samaria?

Nothing would make Hamas happier than Abbas no longer having IDF protection, so they can more easily overthrow the PA there too.

Would the State Department really abandon Abbas that way?

3) Israel releasing the recidivist terrorists it just recaptured?

Nothing would make Hamas happier or more popular on the street than the release of its terrorists.

Would the State Department really strengthen Hamas that way?

I know there are cynical people that would say the answer to all these questions is yes.

But does anyone really believe the State Department is so delusional, shortsighted and determined to hurt America’s only real ally in the Middle East?

OK. Don’t answer that.

Is the Gaza War Really Over?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Reprinted from The Gatestone Institute Website

It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas’s or Islamic Jihad’s overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader, has never concealed Hamas’s desire to destroy Israel.

Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, “Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel.”

Statements made by Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and spokesmen following the announcement of the long-term cease-fire agreement with Israel this week serve as a reminder of their true intentions and strategy.

Over the past two months, the two groups, together with several armed factions in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly announced that their main goal was to end the “siege” on the Gaza Strip and build their own airport and seaport.

During the cease-fire talks in Cairo, the Palestinian groups repeatedly and stubbornly insisted that complying with these demands, along with opening all the border crossings with the Gaza Strip, was the only way to end the violence and achieve a long-term cease-fire with Israel.

However, it is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas’s or Islamic Jihad’s overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip are not only fighting for an airport and seaport. Nor are they fighting only for the reopening of all border crossings with Israel and Egypt.

During this war, many seem to have forgotten that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.” The two groups have never recognized Israel’s right to exist and continue to oppose any attempt to make peace with the “Zionist entity.”

Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza Strip were under the false impression that it was all about improving the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yet these journalists, like many others in the international community, failed to look at the bigger picture or take into consideration the context of conflict. Moreover, most of them did not even seem to be listening to what Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been stating before and after the war — that their real goal is to “liberate all Palestine.”

Operation Protective Edge may have ended, but the dream to destroy Israel is still alive. Even if Hamas and Islamic Jihad eventually get their own airport and seaport, it is obvious that the two groups are now more determined than ever to pursue their fight to eliminate Israel, especially in light of the fact that they feel they have emerged from the war triumphant.

PA Terrorists Try to Blow Up Jews in Samaria

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Palestinian Authority terrorists set off a bomb at a bus stop in Samaria and threw two pipe bombs at passing Jewish drivers in Samaria on Sunday. No one was injured.

Police sappers were called to the Rechalim Junction where the bomb exploded. They did not find any other explosive devices and still are searching for suspects.

Motorists and passengers also escaped injury in separate pipe bomb attacks near Kedumim, on the road that connects central Samaria with Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv. The bombs contained screws that were meant to cause multiple injuries.

On Saturday night, Arab terrorists threw a Molotov cocktail at “Beit Meyuhas,” an historical Jewish home in the City of David, across the street from the Old City. A 45-year-old Israeli man was hospitalized for first and second-degree burns to his head.

Netanyahu Says Making Gaza ‘Israel’s Fallujah’ Was Too High a Price

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Crushing Hamas instead of accepting a cease-fire might have turned Gaza into another Fallujah, with Israel paying an exorbitant price in terms of the lives of soldiers as well as risking security on the Syrian front, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in interviews this weekend.

He noted that the United States in 2004 fought against Islamists in the Iraqi city, one-tenth the size of Gaza, killed thousands of Iraqis and destroyed thousands of homes only to hand over control to the Iraqi government, which last year lost control of the city to Al Qaeda.

The Prime Minister went on a media blitz with three television interviews over the weekend after his popularity sank dramatically in the past week. He was the target of barbs from left and right for accepting a cease-fire with Hamas instead of going for the kill and for not fulfilling his promise that a cease-fire would be conditioned on dis-arming Hamas. Instead, the issue of weapons in Gaza was put off for “negotiations” in 30 days while Hamas insists it never will give up its rockets.

He tried repair the political damage by emphasizing that the “big picture” is more important than destroying Hamas, which can always be done later, if need be.

None other than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry provided him with an escape hatch by calling for ”global coalition” to fight radical Islamists who are “perilously close to Israel.”

“The Islamic State is galloping toward us [and] al-Qaeda is on the Golan borders,” said Netanyahu, who explained he did want to “not to invest all my assets in this one arena” of Gaza.

“I am preparing for a reality in the Middle East that is very problematic,” Netanyahu said, but Bloomberg News quoted Ben Gurion University political science Prof. Yoram Meital as saying that ISIS and Al Qaeda “have yet to form large enough armies to “significantly pose an existential threat to Israel.” He added, “There is a tendency to exaggerate the power of these groups for political aims.”

Netanyahu said that beheading Hamas, figuratively speaking, still is an option and that there might be a situation in which Israel has to occupy Gaza

He asserted that while he will not tolerate even a drizzle of rockets, invading Gaza at this time would have come at a possibly intolerable loss of soldiers.

Netanyahu did not state, nor has the IDF commented, that a massive invasion of Gaza was not a real option ever since the military pulled out most of its tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the Gaza front almost immediately after the last temporary cease-fire before the current truce was announced last week. The IDF apparently knew it had won as much as it could at the least possible price.

Buried amid the praise for the military’s dealing Hamas a severe blow from the air and from the ground are well-sourced reports that the army was not prepared for the massive and lethal Hamas defense in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza.

Entering all of Gaza to topple Hamas would have meant facing a well-organized terrorist army in every city in the Gaza, despite the elimination of top Hamas commanders by the Israeli Air Force.

However, there is no doubt, as Netanyahu said, that Hamas did not expect the force with which Israel retaliated following rocket attacks on most of Israel.

The Prime Minister also emphasized in the interviews that Hamas agreed to the same Egyptian cease-fire proposal that it originally rejected.

He did not relate to the difficulty that awaits Israel with diplomatic maneuvering by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to use the “peace process” to allow his security forces to patrol Gaza borders.

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a miserable sales pitch to the Israeli people Wednesday night in a weak effort to turn around public opinion that is unhappy, if not disgusted, with his agreeing to the cease-fire announced by Hamas and its new war partner, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, followed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzת repeated over and over Israel’s achievements in the war

Netanyahu claimed that Israel achieved the goals it set from the beginning, mainly to restore quiet to Israel and to destroy terror tunnels.

He also rewrote his promise earlier this month that there will no cease-fire without disarming Hamas. Magically, that now has become a “long-term” goal.

He buried that promise among the insistence that “Hamas did not get one demand” that it made before the cease-fire.

Netanyahu listed Hamas’ demands as a deep-sea port, an airport, freeing terrorists who were released in the delay of the return of Gilad Shalit and then were re-arrested for returning to terror, mediation of Turkey and Qatar in cease-fire talks.

And what happened to his position that Israel would not negotiate under fire?

Technically, Netanyahu kept its word. Israel negotiators were recalled from Cairo every time Hamas broke a cease-fire and resume rocket fire on Israel.

But negotiations do not require face-to face discussions. Does Netanyahu want everyone to believe that Israel was not updated on the Egyptian-brokered plan and Hamas’s reactions?

Does he really want everyone to believe that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority announced the cease-fire without knowing that Israel would accept it?

And if indeed that is what happened and the cease-fire simply fell on Israel out of the blue, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance only shows how destructively passive he was, failing to seize the last days of the war to make demands.

More likely, the United States was involved. U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that Kerry and his point man in the Middle East, Frank Lowenstein, were in constant contact with Netanyahu.

She said the United States was not an active participant in the talks but was part of the action, in one way or the other.

Netanyahu hammered away at all of the achievements that are well-known – the destruction of terror tunnels, the relentless attacks on hundreds of Hamas command centers, rocket launchers and weapons factories and storerooms.

Approximately 1,000 terrorists were killed in the war.

Israel’s successes in the war cannot be pooh-poohed. Hamas indeed was dealt a crippling blow. Hamas knows very well that the days are over when it can lob mortar shells and launching rockets at the Gaza Belt without a fierce retaliation.

However, the Israeli public, including the influential center and center-left in Tel Aviv, no longer trusts agreements with Arabs and does not trust the Israeli government, no matter who is charge, to walk out of diplomatic negotiations without opened up the chicken barn for the foxes.

“Hamas is isolated politically, and we received legitimacy in the international community,” Netanyahu insisted. He said that Israel won solid backing in the international community, and that is true – today. And maybe tomorrow.

By next week, it will have evaporated into thin air, and once again there will be international demands that Israel make peace by diplomatic suicide.

One of the most disturbing statements at the press conference was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who boasted that it will take Hamas 10 years to re-build.

So what do we have? A 10-year respite before the next war?

Netanyahu noted that Israel has allegedly enjoyed peace and quiet in the north since the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-tries-to-sell-bill-of-goods-that-israel-won-goals-in-the-war/2014/08/27/

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