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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘the Hague’

Shurat HaDin: Obama Secretly Transferred $1.7 Billion to Iran to Keep It Out of Terror Victims’ Reach

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, representing American the families of terror victims who have won US court judgments against the government of Iran for its support of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, on Tuesday released a letter it sent US Congress members alleging that the Obama Administration kept secret the details of the $1.7 billion in cash payments to Tehran in January 2016 in order to evade efforts by their clients to recover those funds to satisfy outstanding court awards.

In the past, American terror victims have been successful in seizing Iranian bank accounts when those had been located.

The letter, sent by attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv and Robert Tolchin of New York, recalls that on January 17, 2016, President Obama announced the settlement of a legal dispute between the United States and Iran over $400 million held by the US in a Foreign Military Sales (“FMS”) program account since 1979. The Obama Administration agreed to pay the $400 million it finally conceded it owed Iran, plus payment of an additional $1.3 million in interest on that amount.

Then, “in recent weeks, the $1.7 billion which was secretly paid out in cash has come under severe scrutiny because the timing and circumstances of the payments appear to confirm the Iranian claim that the White House agreed to pay the money as ransom to Tehran for the release of American hostages.”

However, in light of the recent revelations in a Congressional subcommittee hearing held on Thursday, September 8, 2016, Shurat HaDin is asserting that “it is now clear that the Administration has deliberately kept numerous payments to Iran secret in order to shield Iran from having to forfeit those funds to pay terror victims amounts Iran owes under outstanding US judgments.”

The Shurat HaDin letter cites a “suspicious revelation at the Congressional subcommittee hearing that the United States and Iran did not draft a written settlement agreement or any other formal documentation of the cash transfers, and that Iran specifically directed the Iran-US Tribunal at the Hague, where the claim was to be resolved through arbitration, that it should not record the settlement of the claim for the parties.”

Shurat HaDin asserts that under a legislation passed in 2000, the US was legally entitled to apply the $400 million in the FSM account to satisfy terror victims’ judgments, and this way eliminating the $400 million balance and nearly 16 years of interest claimed by Iran.

Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement: “We believe that the secrecy in which these cash payments were made was part of an effort by the White House to conceal these payments from the terror victims and to hide the fact that it was effectively canceling Iran’s debt for its terror-related activity. This is a horrible fraud against the terror victims. It appears the secret cash transfers were specifically done as an end run around the ability of the families to attach the money and enforce their federal court judgments.”

Why didn’t the Treasury ever tell the families they were holding these funds?” Darshan-Leitner demanded to know.

Had either the settlement or an award against the United States at the Iran-US Tribunal been entered on the books, and Iran had sought to have the settlement or award confirmed in US court, then terror-victims with judgments against Iran could have legally “attached” any judgment affirming the settlement or award, so that the amount could be applied to satisfy their terror-compensation judgments, Shurat HaDin contends, explaining that “instead, the Administration went to great lengths to ensure that the $1.7 billion purported settlement was shrouded in secrecy, was never reduced to writing or even recorded with the Tribunal in Hague, and was paid to Iran in cash as quickly and directly as possible in order to head off any chance that Iran would be forced to forfeit any amount to pay legal judgments it owes to American terror victims.”

Shurat HaDin urged Congress to continue to investigate these issues, and to take action to guarantee that further payments to Iran do not take place as long as Iran remains a state sponsor of terrorism and a threat to its neighbors, “and until it has paid every judgment it owes to American victims of terror.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner addressed her letter to Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Mike Pompeo and Ed Royce, who have each introduced legislation in response to the $1.7 billion payment to Iran, and to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean P. Duffy, whose subcommittee held a special hearing on the $1.7 billion payments last Thursday, September 8, 2016.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Heads to The Hague for Diplomatic Mission

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to the Netherlands for a diplomatic visit on Tuesday for meetings with top officials on “deepening the bilateral relations” between Israel and Holland.

Netanyahu with meet in The Hague with Prime Minister Mark Rutte as well as with the Dutch King Willem Alexander at the Noordeinde Palace — the first meeting between the prime minister and the monarch since his succession to the throne on April 30, 2013.

The prime minister will also visit the Dutch States General (parliament) and meet with Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol and House of Representatives Speaker Khadija Arib.

Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet with members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and expected to discuss with them Israel-Netherlands relations.

According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu will present Israel’s policy in the regional context and vis-à-vis Europe.

Hana Levi Julian

Livni to British Police: ‘Absurd Arrest Warrants Have to Stop’

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Zionist Union leader Tzipi Livni has come out with guns blazing following an attempt by British police to present her with an arrest warrant and summon her for questioning over suspected “war crimes” committed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

“What I have to say to British police I will say in every place: Israel will continue to fight terror and the absurdity of arrest warrants has to stop,” the Israeli Knesset member tweeted in response to the incident, which took place this weekend during her attendance at a Haaretz Israel conference held in the UK.

Livni, who was serving as Israel’s foreign minister during Operation Cast Lead, has also served as a justice minister.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestinian Authority (PA) and pro-PA NGO groups have been waging international lawfare campaigns against Israel for more than a decade by filing criminal complaints via local the courts against senior Israeli officials and military personnel whenever they travel abroad.

The main NGOs behind the campaigns in the UK and beyond — including at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, are the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Haq and Al Mezan, according to the NGO Monitor. All are funded by European governments.

Last year the legal codes were revised in Britain to prevent such tactics, but this weekend’s incident highlighted loopholes in the legislation.

At least Livni did not lose her sense of humor over the matter, tweeting her take on a recent anti-Israel comment by British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn:

The summons against Livni was ultimately cancelled after intervention by the Israeli Embassy in London and action by senior officials in the ministries of foreign affairs and justice, which required granting Livni diplomatic immunity.

It has become particularly enticing for these bodies to use the European Union nations for this purpose, since the EU has been especially supportive of the PA activities.

The European Union has financially supported and even participated in illegal PA construction in Area C territories where under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords, where Israel is supposed to have full legal, administrative and security control.

Hana Levi Julian

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

Hamas Accidentally Admits to Committing War Crimes

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Hamas is upset with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and are calling on him to resign, and in the process admitted to committing a different act of “unlawful perfidy”, otherwise known as a war crime.

Ban Ki Moon has gone on the record of agreeing with the Israeli timeline on the kidnapping and murder of IDF officer Hadar Goldin in Gaza — that the Hamas attack occurred after the cease fire was in place.

Hams has now decided they don’t like that timeline, as it makes them guilty of breaking the truce, so they’ve come up with a new narrative.

Hamas now says they attacked, kidnapped (and murdered?) the IDF soldier before the ceasefire was in play.

But they decided to add another detail in their statement, apparently as part of their ongoing psychological warfare against Israel, and in part to try and explain how their narrative works in the real world.

Hamas claims that Israel found the body of their fighter Walid Tawfiq Mas’oud, who participated in the ambush of Goldin, and the IDF confused him with the Israeli soldier, because their Hamas fighter, who participated in the Goldin kidnapping/attack, was wearing an IDF uniform.

While the laws of war are split on whether its acceptable to wear an enemy uniform to move forward or retreat, it is clear to all nations that wearing an enemy uniform during an actual attack constitutes “unlawful perfidy” under international law, or in simpler terms, a war crime.

Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.

Art. 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden

(f) To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;

The ICRC further states:

Rule 65. Perfidy Rule 65. Killing, injuring or capturing an adversary by resort to perfidy is prohibited.

Either way, whether Hamas attacked under “a flag of truce” or while wearing a “uniform of the enemy”, Hamas is guilty of a war crime, by their own admission.

JoeSettler

Israel Changes Policy, Will Talk to Hague Prosecutor

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

(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.”

JNi.Media

Hague Prosecutor Demanding Israeli Data to Help Gaza War-Crimes Probe (Against Israel)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

It’s called playing hardball — The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in the Hague has warned Israel that if it didn’t provide reliable information to assist the current investigation of war crimes in the “Palestinian territories,” the prosecution would start a full-scale investigation following only the “Palestinians'” allegations.

Fatou B. Bensouda, a Gambian attorney and the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor since 2012, told AP on Tuesday that she is yet to receive information from either side on last summer’s Gaza war.

Bensouda suggested it was in “the best interest” of Hamas and Israel to provide the needed information.

In August, 2014, Fatou Bensouda published an article in the Guardian titled, “The truth about the ICC and Gaza,” in which she answered accusations that her office was not pursuing “war crime” complaints: “…the simple truth is that my office has never been in a position to open such an investigation due to lack of jurisdiction.”

“The prosecutor can only 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,” Bensouda noted, adding: “My office … concluded that … Palestine could now join the Rome statute [the ICC’s founding treaty].”

Wink wink, nudge nudge…

And so, back in January, after the PLO accepted the court’s jurisdiction as of the time just before last summer’s Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge), Chief Prosecutor Bensouda launched her initial investigation into the “Palestinian” claims of war crimes by Israel.

Bensouda, 52, born to a polygamous Muslim family, has gained the reputation of a no nonsense prosecutor. In 2014, she was one of the three Muslim women on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, all three associated with fighting against oppression in Muslim countries. According to the BBC, the African Union (AU) “lobbied intensely” for her prestigious appointment at the Hague.

Conceived by Muammar Gaddafi as a “United States of Africa,” with a structure modeled after the European Union, the AU was Established in 2001 to debate African issues and to advise AU heads of state. Only Morocco does not yet have representation in the organization.

Bensouda was also associated with the 1994 coup that brought to power Gambian President Yahya Jammeh. His regime was accused of harassing the opposition and the press, and in 1998 Jammeh made Bensouda his justice minister. They parted ways two years later.

Earlier this month, chief prosecutor Bensouda promised she intends to launch an “unbiased” probe of the Gaza war and plans to investigate both sides of the conflict:

“We will of course look into the alleged crimes committed by all sides to the conflict, including the role of Hamas. I have made this clear to both Israeli and Palestinian officials,” Bensouda said, adding, “If an investigation is opened in any given situation, my office will be guided by a policy of investigating and prosecuting those most responsible for the commission of mass crimes.”

“Mass crimes.” Hmmm.

Strange that she hasn’t heard about our neighbor Bashar Assad.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hague-prosecutor-demanding-israeli-data-to-help-gaza-war-crimes-probe-against-israel/2015/05/13/

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