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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘war crimes.’

Hague Judges Tell Prosecutor to Proceed with 2010 Gaza Flotilla ‘War Crime’ Case

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

A 3-judge panel of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in a 2-1 decision, on Thursday called on the court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her decision not to investigate the 2010 clash between Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists on a flotilla that was on its way to Gaza.

Last year, Bensouda refused a request, to launch a probe into the May 31, 2010 incident, submitted by the Union Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean under whose flag the boarded flotilla boat, the Mavi Marmara, was sailing.

Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists wounded by Israeli commandos, in a botched operation in which the Israelis climbed down a rope, one at a time, to receive severe beatings with metal rods from the activists.

At the time, Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes had been committed on the Mavi Marmara, except she did not believe the case merited an ICC involvement. It appeared that in her view the ICC should use its authority to discern major international confrontations, rather than what amounts to a coast guard boarding gone awry.

On Thursday, the Judges rebuked Bensouda for making “material errors in her determination of the gravity” of the case.

Israel’s Turkel Commission probe of the incident, which, according to Ha’aretz, has met with the approval of the UN investigative committee (the Palmer Committee), found that:

a. The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip – in view of the security circumstances and Israel’s efforts to comply with its humanitarian obligations – was legal pursuant to the rules of international law;

b. The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries. Nonetheless, and despite the limited number of uses of force for which we could not reach a conclusion, the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law. The UN Palmer Committee Report on Gaza Flotilla Incident sided with the Israeli action. In its final summary, it stated:

The blockading power is entitled to board a neutral merchant vessel if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it is breaching a blockade. The blockading power has the right to visit and search the vessel and to capture it if found in breach of a blockade.

Breach could occur outside the blockade zone, including on the high seas where there is evidence of the vessel’s intention. If there is clear resistance to the interception or capture, the blockading power may attack the vessel, after giving a prior warning.

The level of force used to enforce the above-mentioned rights must be proportionate; in particular, it must be limited to the level necessary to achieve the military objective.

So that, should the prosecutor decide to move ahead with the case, the entire debate would inevitably revolve around the proportionality of the IDF soldiers’ use of force.

Should make for an exciting kangaroo court.

JewishPress.com adds:

Judge Peter Kovacs has presented an opposing position to his peers in the ICC, which can be read here.

The key paragraph is the last paragraph where the judge wrote:

Indeed, it is likely that if an investigation was to be conducted most if not all of those acts will not qualify as war crimes within the meaning of article 8 of the Statute, either due to the difficulty in proving the mens rea of the potential suspect(s), or due to the existence of defences under articles 31 or 32 of the Statute (i.e., self-defence or justifiable error on the protected status of those on the Maria Marmara) with regard to the IDF soldiers who intervened in those difficult circumstances. It follows that the lack of prospect for any successful prosecution, together with the relatively low gravity of the alleged crimes makes it clear that the initiation of an investigation in the present situation is unwarranted.

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.”

Lapid: The UN has Lost Its Mind

Monday, June 15th, 2015

The United Nations is “obsessed” with criticizing Israel, and “always assumes the Jews are to blame,” Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid has accused. His comments from a Yesh Atid party gathering were reported by the Hebrew-language site NRG.

The UN is expected to release a report in the upcoming days criticizing Israel over the 2014 Protective Edge operation in Gaza.

Lapid noted that the UN had chosen not to investigate the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens at the hands of Hamas immediately prior to the operation. “If that’s not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Overall, the report “is yet another example that the UN has lost its mind,” Lapid declared. Instead of investigating Israel, he continued, the UN should investigate itself. “How did it lose its honesty, its moral standards, the basic values of fairness for which it was created?” he asked.

He noted that Israel took extensive measures to protect Gaza civilians, including giving advance warning of military operations to allow civilians to leave affected areas and setting up a field hospital near Gaza.

Operation Protective Edge was launched in response to the Hamas terrorist group’s use of tunnels from Gaza to Israel to attack Israeli communities, and to near-constant rocket attacks. During the operation Hamas repeatedly attacked IDF troops in Gaza, leading to heavy fighting at several points near the Gaza border.

Following the operation Hamas accused Israel of war crimes, and claimed that nearly all of the dead were civilians – a claim repeated in the international media, despite strong evidence that at least half of those killed were combatants.

Two recent reports on the conflict have found that Hamas committed war crimes against both Israel and the civilian population of Gaza, and that Israel went above and beyond the law in its attempts to prevent civilian casualties.

Hamas War Crimes Revealed in New Report

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Hamas committed war crimes against both the Israeli population and the population of Gaza during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, a new report from the Foreign Ministry has revealed.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold released the report Sunday afternoon (June 14), one day before the United Nations is expected to release its own report on the 2014 war.

The report found that Hamas intentionally held battles in populated urban areas, in an attempt to use Gaza civilians as a human shield. Hamas frequently wired civilian homes with bombs or used them as command centers. In some cases, Hamas fighters forced Gaza civilians to remain in their homes despite Israel warning them to leave.

Hamas also violated international law by storing weapons in schools and by fighting from mosques, as well as by disguising its soldiers as civilians or as Israeli soldiers – both of which are prohibited under international law.

Much of the fighting centered on Hamas’ efforts to prevent Israel from destroying tunnels it had built from Gaza into Israeli territory, with the goal of staging terrorist attacks. The report noted that the tunnels were built in populated areas, and often within homes themselves.

The report noted that during the fighting, Hamas fired 4,500 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. The areas targeted by the rockets were home to 70% of Israel’s population.

The report found that Israel made several efforts to prevent civilian casualties. Among other things, the IDF issued warnings to civilians before entering areas where tunnels were to be destroyed, ran multiple checks to ensure terrorist positions had been correctly identified before opening fire, and cancelled planned strikes if it was known that civilians were in the area.

In addition, Israel ensured that humanitarian aid entered Gaza during the fighting, despite Hamas attacks targeting the crossings through which the aid was delivered.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely praised the report, which she noted was the result of many months of in-depth research.

“Anyone who isn’t trying to ignore the facts will see that the IDF did obey the law,” she declared.

Democracies must fight terrorism “with one hand tied behind their back,” Hotovely said, quoting former Supreme Court justice Aharon Barak. However, she added, “There are those who are making a cynical effort to tie both hands behind our backs” – a possible reference to tomorrow’s UN report, which is expected to be highly critical of Israel.

Social Security Administration Paid $20 Million to Nazi Suspects

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Social Security Administration of the United States paid 130 suspected Nazi war criminals $20.2 million in benefits before this year’s new “No Social Security for Nazis Act” took effect, the Associated Press reported.

The amount of money is far greater than previously estimated and provides further evidence that thousands of former Nazis, including SS guards, lied their way into the United States, denied their past and then collected federal  benefits after retiring.

The Justice Dept. also used a legal loophole to offer Social Security payments to suspected Nazis who agreed to leave the United States until this year’s act ended the practice.

A full report of a federal investigation, prompted by a previous AP story, is to be released later this week.

The news agency said it obtained a copy of the report of payments to Nazi war criminals since 1962. No names are listed in the report, but the Social Security Administration obviously has the names, raising questions of whether it and the Justice Dept. are protecting them from possible prosecution for war crimes.

The American government was inactive when it came to looking for Nazis until it established its own unit in 1979 to hunt them.

After the original AP report last year, New York Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked Social Security to investigate, and she said on Saturday that the report shows the recipients included confirmed Nazis.

She said in a statement:

We must continue working to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and hold those responsible accountable. One way to do that is by providing as much information to the public as possible. This report hopefully provides some clarity.

The report said 38 formers Nazis received $5.6 million before being deported while 95 suspected Nazis, whose possible war crimes were not confirmed, continued to collect $14.5 million.

Amnesty Accuses Hamas of Torturing and Killing Arabs Who Helped Israel

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Hamas executed at least 23 suspected collaborators for Israel during the Protective Edge counter-terrorist campaign last summer, Amnesty International charged late Tuesday.

The Jewish Press.com previously reported Hamas executions, here, here and here.

The accusations are of no surprise to Israel but are particularly significant because they were made by Amnesty, which until last year almost single-mindedly and repeatedly condemned Israel for “war crimes” while almost ignoring Hamas rocket attacks on the country.

The human rights group began to focus on Hamas last year with charges that the terrorist organization was not exactly an innocent victim, but it also took care to accuse Israel of “callous indifference” by carrying out aerial bombings that allegedly killed civilians. It did not note that Hamas used them as human shields.

However, Tuesday’s condemnation does not try to “balance” the charges against Hamas with accusations against Israel.

Hamas posted videos and photos last year showing public executions of Arabs, outside a mosque, suspected of collaborating with Israel

Amnesty said Hamas named the coordinated campaign of fear “Strangling Necks.

Amnesty’s report was issued hours before Gaza terrorists attacked Israel with a missile Tuesday night. The IDF swiftly retaliated with aerial bombings of terror targets.

The report incriminating Hamas stated in part:

In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses, including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.

At least two of those killed were serving prison terms at the time of their deaths.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri told The New York Times that the Amnesty charges are not totally accurate because Hamas never claimed “responsibility for the killing of collaborators during the war.” That would seem to indicate, “If you can’t prove we tortured and killed people, we are innocent.”

The report implicitly tempered previous condemnation of Israel for “callous indifference.”  It flatly stated that Hamas launched rockets and missiles from civilian areas, including schools and hospitals.

Amnesty Accuses Hamas of Torturing and Killing Arabs Who Helped Israel

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Hamas executed at least 23 suspected collaborators for Israel during the Protective Edge counter-terrorist campaign last summer, Amnesty International charged late Tuesday.

The accusations are of no surprise to Israel but are particularly significant because they were made by Amnesty, which until last year almost single-mindedly and repeatedly condemned Israel for “war crimes” while almost ignoring Hamas rocket attacks on the country.

The human rights group began to focus on Hamas last year with charges that the terrorist organization was not exactly an innocent victim, but it also took care to accuse Israel of “callous indifference” by carrying out aerial bombings that allegedly killed civilians. It did not note that Hamas used them as human shields.

However, Tuesday’s condemnation does not try to “balance” the charges against Hamas with accusations against Israel.

Hamas posted videos and photos last year showing public executions of Arabs, outside a mosque, suspected of collaborating with Israel

Amnesty said Hamas named the coordinated campaign of fear “Strangling Necks.

Amnesty’s report was issued hours before Gaza terrorists attacked Israel with a missile Tuesday night. The IDF swiftly retaliated with aerial bombings of terror targets.

The report incriminating Hamas stated in part:

In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses, including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.

At least two of those killed were serving prison terms at the time of their deaths.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri told The New York Times that the Amnesty charges are not totally accurate because Hamas never claimed “responsibility for the killing of collaborators during the war.” That would seem to indicate, “If you can’t prove we tortured and killed people, we are innocent.”

The report implicitly tempered previous condemnation of Israel for “callous indifference.”  It flatly stated that Hamas launched rockets and missiles from civilian areas, including schools and hospitals.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/amnesty-accuses-hamas-of-torturing-and-killing-arabs-who-helped-israel/2015/05/27/

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