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International Criminal Court

  • Israel’s High Court just made an ICC investigation more likely

    The court’s rejection of a lawsuit challenging the shooting of protesters in Gaza is a reminder that the Israeli legal system simply isn’t set up to investigate the policy makers and policies that result in alleged war crimes.  Israel’s High Court of Justice may have just inadvertently increased the possibility that senior Israeli officials might themselves show up on the docket of the International Criminal Court one day. [tmwinpost] Last Thursday night, the court rejected a legal challenge that sought to strike down the Israeli army’s policy of shooting unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip. Six Israeli and Palestinian human…

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  • Congress won't allow Palestinians their day in court

    The PLO faces punishment—the closure of its diplomatic office in the U.S.—for seeking justice in the International Criminal Court.  By James J. Zogby Imagine that you are a victim of a violent crime or theft but are forbidden from reporting it because Congress has passed a law that not only prohibits you from reporting the crime, but threatens punishment if you dare to do it. This is the situation in which the Palestinians find themselves today. The Palestinians have been told that the U.S. government is on the verge of decertifying their right to maintain an office in Washington because…

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  • Who’s sending death threats to Palestinian advocates in The Hague?

    In an interview with +972, the Hague representative of Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, talks about the slew of threats she and her organization have received for months, and why she believes the Israeli government is behind them. In a small ceremony in The Hague on April 1, 2015, the Palestinian Authority officially signed the Rome Statute, the legal covenant enabling the prosecution of individuals at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Saeb Erekat, the PA’s chief negotiator, called it “a historic day in the struggle for justice, freedom and peace…

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  • Asylum seekers call on Europe to try Eritrean leader for crimes against humanity

    Thousands of Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrate in front of the European Union Embassy in support of a UN Commission of Inquiry to examine human rights abuses by the Eritrean dictatorship. By Inbal Ben Yehuda Over 2,000 Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrated in front of the European Union Embassy in Ramat Gan on Tuesday in support a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry examining human rights violations in their home country. [tmwinpost] The protesters marched from Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv toward the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Ramat Gan, where the EU building is located. The organizers brought…

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  • How to foil a human rights probe: Keep the investigator out

    Makarim Wibisono resigns as UN special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories — because Israel never allowed him to visit Palestine. The UN special rapporteur charged with monitoring and investigating Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories resigned Monday in protest of Israel’s consistent refusal to give him access to said occupied territories. Refusing access to human rights monitors is a tactic generally employed by non-democratic regimes. Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, who previously served as Indonesia's ambassador to the United Nations, said that when he accepted the position he was assured he would have access to the Palestinian territory. He did…

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  • Challenging Israeli impunity in the ICC

    As the Israeli judiciary continues to side with the state and its security services, advocates and human rights lawyers must reevaluate the strategy of litigating Palestinian grievances in the occupier’s courts. By Sagiv Galai Palestinian human rights organizations submitted a classified communication to the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor last month. The information contained will most likely involve the documented targeting of non-military facilities during the 2014 Gaza war. At least 28 schools were damaged or destroyed during the 2014 offensive, according to Human Rights Watch hospitals, medical staff, sewage and electricity plans, and other civil infrastructure were also allegedly…

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  • Palestinian groups present 'war crimes' evidence to the ICC

    The International Criminal Court prosecutor is conducting a 'preliminary examination' into the 2014 Gaza war. But are Israeli officials at higher risk of prosecution for illegally building settlements in the West Bank? Four Palestinian human rights organizations submitted research, testimonies and documentation to International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday, which they said contain evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israelis during the 2014 Gaza war. The four Palestinian human rights organizations, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), said the information they handed over to Bensouda on Monday detailed “illustrative instances” of…

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  • Sorry Israeli leftists, I've got no sympathy for you

    Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…

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  • How ICC membership could revive Palestinian statehood at the UN

    Could a shift in U.S.-Israeli relations lay the groundwork for bolder legal and diplomatic moves in the international arena against Israel and the occupation? By Lolita Brayman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election success is being portrayed by some as a victory for the international aspects of the Palestinian cause. For months, Palestinians have been trying to leverage Europe’s frustration with Israeli actions and now the United States might be having second thoughts about wielding its almighty UN Security Council veto. There is a global consensus for a two-state solution today. So when Netanyahu publicly abandoned his commitment to negotiating the…

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  • Is the ICC running against Netanyahu in Israeli elections?

    It's election season: Israeli politicians are peddling pure spin about the ICC and possible war crimes investigations. (This analysis first appeared as part of another article, here.) The Israeli government has gone on the offensive against the ICC since Palestine joined the international court. The attacks and misinformation have reached a crescendo since the ICC's chief prosecutor announced a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine last week. What is “the situation in Palestine?” The ICC does not investigate specific complaints like police or a prosecutor would. When the ICC gains new jurisdiction, its prosecutors — “as a matter of…

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  • Retired Israeli general suggests Syria attack timed for election effect

    As elections approach, Israeli politicians are misleading the public about war crimes probes, and according to one general-turned-politician, about war itself. (This analysis originally contained a previous section called, 'Is the ICC running against Netanyahu in Israeli elections?' It has been published as a separate article here.) “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.” — Carl von Clausewitz Retired Israeli army general Yoav Galant suggested that Israel's assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general in Syria on Sunday might have been timed with electoral politics in mind. Appearing as a guest commentator on Israel’s…

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  • Palestinian 'lawfare': Toward brinksmanship or progress?

    Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court is an official declaration of lawfare, a new battleground in the conflict with Israel; settlements will be the thorniest legal issue in the courtroom (if it ever gets there). By Lolita Brayman Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ signing of the Rome Statute is a game changer for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Following the disappointment of the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) vote on a resolution to end Israeli occupation – a two year plan to establish a sovereign Palestinian state and end the conflict – the Palestinians turned to other international bodies for diplomatic relief. Acceding…

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  • Stop giving Israelis a pass: What Dennis Ross could have said

    Former U.S. ambassador and Mideast peace process envoy Dennis Ross penned a 'New York Times' op-ed titled, 'Stop Giving Palestinians a Pass.' In it, he calls out European diplomats for supporting international efforts to end the occupation while not demanding more of the Palestinians. Below is a duplication of Ross's op-ed, almost word for word, but this time calling out former American diplomats for disparaging international efforts at ending the occupation while not demanding more of the Israelis. Read Ross's original op-ed here. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, rebuffs international consensus about ending the occupation of the West…

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