Palestinians Formally Join International Criminal Court
Formally Join International Criminal Court|
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) —
The Palestinians formally joined the
International Criminal Court on Wednesday, as part of a broader effort to put
international pressure on Israel and exact a higher price for its occupation of
lands sought for a Palestinian state.
Beyond seeking war crimes charges against Israel at the court, the
Palestinians want the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline for an Israeli
The atmosphere seems ripe for international intervention after recently
re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled the world with a
pledge to voters, since withdrawn, that he would not allow a Palestinian state
to be established.
But a legal and diplomatic showdown isn't inevitable as aides say
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas isn't interested in an all-out
confrontation with Israel. War crimes charges against Israel could be years
away and Washington likely will soften any Security Council resolution on
Here is a look at what's expected:
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki was meeting with court officials
Wednesday, but it's largely ceremonial.
Attempting to lower expectations among Palestinians of speedy court action,
Malki told the Voice of Palestine radio Wednesday: "I don't want to
disappoint our people, but the ICC procedures are slow and long and might face
lots of obstacles and challenges and might take years."
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda already launched a preliminary review to determine
if there are grounds for an investigation of possible war crimes in the West
Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — lands captured by Israel in 1967 and recognized
by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 as the "state of Palestine."
A senior Palestinian official said the Palestinians will wait for the
outcome of that review — which can take months or years — before considering
further action. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to discuss Palestinian strategy.
Earlier this year, the Palestinians accepted the court's jurisdiction dating
back to June 2014, to ensure that last summer's Gaza war between Israel and the
militant group Hamas will be included in any review.
The Palestinians suffered heavy civilian casualties in the war, prompting
allegations by some rights groups that Israel committed war crimes. Hamas,
which rules Gaza, is also exposed to war crimes charges because it fired
rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas.
Israel's settlement construction, deemed illegal by much of the world, is
also bound to be examined by the prosecutor. Since 1967, Israel has moved more
than 550,000 of its civilians to occupied lands.
Palestine's court membership could help shift focus to settlements as a
legal and not just a political issue, said Alex Whiting, a former official in
the international prosecutor's office.
Israel and Palestine also will have to show that they are looking into
possible war crimes on their own — a shield against ICC involvement if deemed
credible. Israel says it's investigating alleged violations by its troops in
Gaza. Hamas is not investigating its actions, claiming rocket attacks were
Israel vehemently opposes Palestinians joining the court. Israeli Foreign
Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said unilateral Palestinian moves are
"absolutely counterproductive" and will make it harder to resume
THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL
France is working on a Security Council resolution that would set the
parameters for a Palestinian statehood deal. The draft would define the
pre-1967 frontier as a reference point for border talks, designate Jerusalem as
a capital of two states and call for a fair solution for Palestinian refugees.
Last year, the council rejected a Palestinian resolution demanding an end to
Israeli occupation within three years. The U.S. opposed that draft, saying
Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through negotiations, but didn't
have to use its veto.
French diplomats now say they are working on a new draft with their allies,
including the U.S., to ensure broad support. A resolution could be introduced
later this month.
The U.S. said after Netanyahu's comments on Palestinian statehood that it
would re-evaluate its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a possible
sign that Washington would no longer shield Israel in the Security Council.
Israel opposes imposed parameters for negotiations, but Palestinians are
They want internationally backed ground rules, after Netanyahu rejected the
pre-1967 lines as a starting point. However, they also fear they'll get a
resolution that lacks enforceable deadlines and instead introduces the
definition of Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas opposes such wording as a threat
to the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees.
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS
Organizers said they expect Netanyahu's re-election will galvanize support
for the 10-year-old Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
BDS activists promote different objectives, with some focusing on a boycott
of the settlements and others saying everything Israeli must be shunned until
Israel withdraws from occupied lands.
The movement has scored recent successes, including some European businesses
and pension funds cutting investments or trade with Israeli firms connected to
West Bank settlements.
Nahshon, the Israeli official, dismissed BDS campaigners as a small group
driven by anti-Semitism and "a wish to destroy" Israel.
THE WAY FORWARD
Instead of a dramatic Israeli-Palestinian showdown, continued paralysis
appears more likely.
Netanyahu and Abbas have signaled that they don't want strained relations to
Israel initially punished Abbas for seeking court membership, freezing
monthly transfers of more than $100 million it collects for the Palestinians.
Israel resumed the transfers after three months amid warnings that a continued
freeze could bring down Abbas' government.
Abbas has indicated he won't end security coordination between his forces
and Israeli troops in the West Bank that is aimed at shared foe Hamas.
Abbas also told senior PLO officials in March he remains committed to
negotiations and would go along with the idea of an international peace
conference, proposed by France, "despite low expectations."
Laub reported from Amman, Jordan. Associated Press writers Josef Federman in
Jerusalem, Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Mike Corder at The Hague, Netherlands,
Having gone through the entire article
a an anayst I have to pen down that whatever has to happen must happen within August
If not done the clouds with over shadow the possibility of any solution to the formation of an Independent Palestinian State
Moreover, the Israel’s indicted criminal assassin would boldly announce the victory as declared by him
before election that there would be no Palestine State under his watch and would
criticize President’s efforts and would have reasons to state the president as a failure President in front of the International community of Nations and claim to the
Zionist AIPAC Jews that JEWS rules America not the Americans.
It is a fight between the prestige,
honor, dignity and grace of the US nation + J street AGAINST the Zionist hoodlums
criminals + Israel’s Zionists criminals GANG OF NETANYAHU.
line of o8/30/2015 then unprecedented sanction be imposted on Israel
In addition to submit to disarm its all nukes along with Iran without any excuse.
and or granted.