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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘war crimes.’

Israeli Lawyers File War Crime Suit against Abbas for Rocket Fire

Monday, November 10th, 2014

An Israeli civil rights group has filed a complaint in the International Criminal Court against Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for war crimes in the Gaza war against Israel.

The Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) group said that Abbas can be tried in the court in Hague because he has Jordanian citizenship.

The Palestinian Authority is not as member of the ICC, but Abbas has threatened he will apply for membership. If the PA is accepted, he could file war crime suits against Israel.

“Shurat HaDin will not allow Fatah to carry out rocket attacks on Israeli population centers, while hypocritically advocating Palestinian membership in the ICC, said Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan Leitner. “Abbas falsely believes that alleged crimes against Arabs are the only ones that should be prosecuted,” she added.

Darshan-Leitner argued that Abbas, as head of the Fatah movement, “is liable for Fatah’s rocket attacks on Israeli cities during this past summer’s Gaza war.”

Fatah boasted that it launched missiles towards numerous Israeli communities, including Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot and kibbutzim in the Gaza Belt area.

Darshan-Leitner explained that Abbas’ Jordanian citizenship circumvents the previous obstacle to the ICC chief prosecutor’s argument that the court did not open an investigation into war cries in the war because neither Israel or the Palestinian Authority is a member of the ICC.

“Abbas is a Jordanian citizen and Jordan is a current member of the ICC,” she said, “The ICC is empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed.”

The complaint notes Jordan has never prosecuted any Palestinian citizen for terrorism and it “has no means of obtaining custody of Mahmoud Abbas,” who lives in Ramallah under PA protection.

In September, Shurat HaDin filed an ICC complaint against Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who also possesses Jordanian citizenship, for Hamas’s extra-judicial execution of 39 Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

 

Shurat HaDin to Bring Hamas to Hague for War Crimes Against its Own People

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, has filed a complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague against Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal over the July-August murders of 38 Gazan civilians.

The motion by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center to bring Mashaal to the ICC was made possible by the fact that he is a citizen of Jordan, one of the ICC member states, and represents the first time that a Palestinian terrorist would be brought to the court on the basis of his Jordanian citizenship.

The complaint alleges that Hamas executed 20 Gazan civilians on July 28 for engaging in anti-Hamas protests, and publicly executed at least 18 civilians on August 22 for “collaboration” with Israel. The complaint further states that Mashaal “had knowledge of the executions, oversees Hamas’s governance of Gaza, and actively encourages and supports the executions.”

As a Jordanian citizen, the Hamas leader is subject to prosecution by the ICC because court is “empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed,” explained attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the chairperson of Shurat Hadin.

In video footage broadcast around the world, Hamas spokesmen testified to the killings of at least 38 civilians in Gaza since the outbreak of this summer’s war with Israel. One of the videos shows Hamas executioners publicly announcing the verdict against some of the condemned civilians, who appear kneeling with cloth bags over their heads in a Gaza mosque. The executions brought widespread condemnation of Hamas from a number of human rights groups.

The Israeli legal group filed the complaint partly as a response to statements made last week by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who said that the court has not “avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure” and has only failed to do so due to a lack of jurisdiction. According to ICC protocols, either the claimant or defendant in a case must belong to an ICC member state, a status that neither Israel nor Gaza holds. By trying Mashaal as a Jordanian, the Israeli group hopes to force the court to convene on the case, as Bensouda indicated it would be willing to do.

Darshan-Leitner told Tazpit News Agency that if the case against Mashaal succeeds in going to court, the results would be significant for Israel. The Hamas leader would be arrested and put on trial, and as the attorney pointed out, “the punishment for war crimes is imprisonment for life. It’s a life sentence without parole.” She also noted that a successful trial would undermine the legitimacy of Hamas, who would be “recognized as committing war crimes against its own people.”

Asked about the prospects of the case going to trial, Darshan-Leitner said that she intends to “put public pressure on the court to deal with this issue.” She noted that the court has an incentive to take the case in order to avoid appearing hypocritical, since the chief ICC prosecutor herself wrote that the court is willing to deal with allegations against Hamas.

“Quite frankly,” she said, “I don’t see a way out for the court from dealing with this case. For the first time they have the jurisdiction to deal with Hamas war crimes in Gaza.”

PLO Calls for War Crimes Investigations

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki has called on foreign governments to investigate their citizens who serve in the IDF for war crimes in Gaza, according to a report in Britain’s The Guardian.

The newspaper reported that Malki, a member of Fatah, the supposedly “moderate” Palestinian movement, has approached the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada, South Africa and five Latin American countries on Tuesday, as well as to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a letter to the 11 heads of state, Maliki said that under international law they are required to investigate their citizen’s alleged violations of international law.

Maliki is a close ally of Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen, tauter by left-wing Israelis as Israel’s great peace partner.

Significantly, Maliki has never called for war crimes trials Arab states and organizations that have abused (and continue to abuse) Palestinians around the Middle East. Since 1948, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised in Lebanon and Syria, with severely limited employment and residence rights and without citizenship.

Later, in 1991, the government of Kuwait summarily expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, many of whom had lived in that country for decades, when PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat threw his support behind then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who had recently invaded the tiny Gulf state.

Even in Gaza, Maliki and Abu Mazen tacitly accepted Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza in 2006. Then, PLO offices were ransacked and looted, Fatah members were tortured, summarily executed and thrown off the tops of buildings in Gaza City, but the PLO never suggested charging the Islamist group – and Fatah’s arch rival with war crimes.

The Guardian reported that Maliki’s letter asked the countries to identify their bi-national citizens who serve in the IDF, to investigate and possibly prosecute them.

Israeli troops have “committed war crimes during the repeated assaults on Gaza in the present, as in the past,” Maliki said. “They have engaged in indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. Such actions have caused death and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, and massive destruction to civilian properties, in grave breach of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Abbas to Ask UN to Set Date for Israel Withdrawal to 1949 Armistice Line

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

PLO chairman, Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority unity government head, Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to persuade the United Nations Security Council to ‘forget’ the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords and simply force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice Line.

Abbas reportedly is set to ask the Council to set a date by which Israel will be required to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and nearly half of its capital city, Jerusalem, all of which Israel captured from Jordanian control.

This would include withdrawal from the Old City, handing over the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, all of Judaism’s holiest sites and in short, the territory where a total of more than half a million Jews now reside, and is the cradle of Jewish civilization.

According to Fatah officials who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night, Abbas plans to ask the United Nations Security Council to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from all of the territory it acquired during the 1967 Six Day War from Jordan. It’s not clear whether he also intends to include the Golan Heights in his request, since that is not directly relevant to the PA.
Jordan has since relinquished any claims it had on the territories.

If the UN Security Council does not agree to do as Abbas demands, the PA unity government head will ‘take his business elsewhere’ and turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague,” the source said.

Abbas will attempt to charge Israel with war crimes in the international court — but it’s unlikely that he will succeed. Perhaps the primary reason is the fact that Israel is not a member of the ICC; therefore the court has no jurisdiction over the Jewish State, aside from the fact that Israel is simply not guilty, and has made very sure to document every move it makes in order to defend itself in any court of law.

Moreover, there is ample photographic evidence proving the countless violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and yes, by Fatah-linked terrorists as well — all of whom are members of Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority and under his government.

It’s the last act of a desperate man, one who has tried everything else and knows there is nothing left to do. No matter which way he turns, he’s a dead man in Ramallah, and he does not want to live in Israel. A man in this position has nothing left to lose.

Anti-Israel UN Investigator Prof. William Schabas ‘Can’t Say’ If Hamas is Terrorist Entity

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The man chosen to head the United Nations Human Rights Council’s latest probe into the war in Gaza won’t state clearly whether Hamas is a terror group. Moreoever, he says “some believe Israel ‘gets off easy’ at the UN Security Council.”

International Law Professor William Schabas, appointed to head the UNHRC probe into Operation Protective Edge, also claimed in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television news anchor Danny Kushmaro Tuesday that past comments he has made on the record, accusing Israel’s government leaders of war crimes were “exaggerated.”

Schabas was questioned about his alleged bias against Israel, which has led the foreign ministry to advise the prime minister not to cooperate with the investigation.

The man selected to investigate Israel’s counter terror operation against Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem this summer said a year ago that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be his choice of a leader to send to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

Israel’s Channel 2 television news anchor Danny Kushmaro began the interview with a polite, if not cordial tone.

“Good evening Professor Schabas. Shall we say congratulations?”

“Uh… perhaps,” Schabas answered carefully.

Kushmaro then went right for the jugular, asking the UN investigator about his suggestion that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be his “favorite” world leader to be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague to face war crimes charges.

“Not President Assad of Syria, Not Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal – you said, ‘Netanyahu.’ Can you explain why?’ the interviewer asked pointedly.

Schabas looked uncomfortable.

“We were having a discussion about the International Criminal Court,” he said, “and the fact that the International Criminal Court had focused all of its attention on African countries. I had referred to a statement by Archbishop Tutu, where he had said, ‘Tony Blair should be brought before the International Criminal Court to show that it can deal with Western countries as well as with countries from the south, and particularly from Africa.

“And so I said, well, uh, my favorite would be Netanyahu. I was, of course, echoing what was in the Goldstone Report, which is that the International Criminal Court should deal with the conclusions of the Goldstone Report, concluding the possibility that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed during Operation Cast Lead.

“But as you know the International Criminal Court never did address those matters. So that was the context of my comment.”

Finance Minister Yair Lapid quickly pointed out in subsequent comments that the Goldstone Report was compiled during the administration of then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, not Netanyahu.

Schabas has also said he believes that former President Shimon Peres should stand trial before the Court as well.

The interviewer asked him whether he, as a professor of international law, would advise his own client to cooperate with “such an investigation” given what he had just heard.

“I think this is a great exaggeration of some of the statements. I expressed opinions about political leaders in the past. Is there a human being in Israel who’s never expressed political opinions about leaders in Israel? Once someone who sits in a commission or as a judge has to do is to put these things behind them, and start fresh, and this is of course what I intend to do.”

Kushmaro: Do you plan to investigate Hamas crimes as well? Are you really able to investigate a terror organization who threatens its own people?

Schabas: “I cannot tell you what the commission is going to do in terms of interpreting its mandate because I’m only one member and I haven’t had a meeting with the other commissioners. We will have to agree on the interpretation…

George Clooney’s Fiancee Backs Out of UN Kangaroo Commission

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, aka George Clooney’s fiancee, has turned down the offer to serve on the UN Gaza inquiry kangaroo commission.

Alamuddin claims it is because she is too busy.

In her statement, released by Clooney’s agent, Alamuddin wrote, “I am horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused, and strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed.”

Alamuddin clearly stated, even before any investigation has begun, that she has prejudged the situation and believes that crimes have been committed by Israel.

She also believes that Gaza is occupied, despite the fact Israel uprooted every single Israeli from the Gaza Strip, including the dead from their graves, in 2005.

Not to worry, we’re sure the UN will find someone else to replace her, who also believes that Israel is guilty before examining any evidence.

‘Peace Talks’ in the Works on Anniversary of Gush Katif Expulsion

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Egypt and western leaders are preparing the groundwork for peace talks as Israel reportedly agreed to extend the 72-hour truce with Hamas on Wednesday, the ninth anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in Gaza.

The current ceasefire is supposed to end 8 a.m. Friday.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have rejected extending the halt in attacks on Israel and showed its muscle, at least in its tongue, but it warned it will renew missile attacks.

The war against Hamas was a follow-up to the so-called Disengagement plan executed today, on the Hebrew calendar, with the ballyhooed promises that removing Jews and the IDF from Gaza would make Hamas safe for Israel.

Nine years and 15,000 rocket and mortar shell attacks later, Israel lost 67 soldiers and civilians and again was cast as the villain for “disproportionate” retaliation against Hamas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told foreign journalists Wednesday that Israel is maintaining the ceasefire and will not sit idly if it is violated, but the advantage is now in the hands of Hamas, unless it really is so stupid to go back to war on Friday.

Hamas has held the truce and continues to do so, knowing full well that it now has everything to gain as international leaders converge in Egypt, calculate the damage in Gaza, place the blame on Israel for defending itself “disproportionately” and turning Hamas into a legitimate entity that will be peace-loving if only Israel would allow Gaza to open an airport under the supposed supervision of the United Nations and if Israel simply would release more terrorists from jail.

That is a sensible demand by Hamas since once the terrorist organization used United Nations’ UNRWA organization, which has institutionalized desire for millions of Arabs through its “refugee camps” to store rockets. It also has been filmed using U.N. ambulances to transport its fighters, complete with machine guns. The IDF has provided aerial photography of Hamas firing rockets next to UNRWA facilities, including schools.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that “peace talks” should be a direct continuation or the truce.

“Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms,” and anonymous Israeli official was quoted as saying by the London Independent. Egyptian media also reported the extension.

The ceasefire gives international leaders room in the media to make their pitch for imposing a Western-style peace on Hamas, which does not recognize any existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and which categorically calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

But that is just idle talk, as far as peacemakers are concerned,

“We must spare no effort to turn the current calm into a durable ceasefire that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Ban the General Assembly.

His Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry, a long-time supporter of Hamas told the meeting of the General Assembly from Cairo “It would be cynical and irresponsible if, yet again, the outcome of the talks would lead us to the previous status quo.”

Ban brought out the heartstrings, and said, “The massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world. The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel, must end.”

UNRWA chipped in by flying U.N. flags at half-mast across the Palestinian Authority in memory of 11 United Nations staffers killed in the war.

Lost in the verbal volume was the recollection that Gaza once upon a time enjoyed a flourishing economy under the “occupation” until Yasser Arafat’s terrorists, murdering Jews under the euphemism of the Palestine Liberation Organization, helped lead the intifada that began in Gaza.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peace-talks-in-the-works-on-anniversary-of-gush-katif-expulsion/2014/08/06/

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