RAMALLAH, West Financial institution — Palestinians welcomed the Worldwide Prison Court docket’s ruling Feb. 5 that it has jurisdiction to examine warfare crimes alleged to have been dedicated within the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, particularly the Gaza Strip and the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem.
But the ruling additionally stirred issues that the ICC may examine leaders of the Palestinian factions in Gaza, such because the Islamic Jihad and the Hamas motion.
He added, “The folks’s proper to withstand occupation is internationally acknowledged.” If the ICC goes after Palestinians for resisting the occupation, it could be violating worldwide legal guidelines and resolutions. “This could undermine the whole [judicial] worldwide system, with unpredictable repercussions.”
Palestine formally joined the ICC in April 2015. On the time, most Palestinian factions together with Hamas welcomed the transfer, aside from the Islamic Jihad. The Islamic Jihad’s chief on the time, Khaled al-Batash, refused, saying the court docket and its rulings are politicized. “The court docket displays the balances of energy within the worldwide neighborhood,” Batash stated, expressing doubt that it may obtain justice for Palestinians.
Hamas chief Osama Hamdan advised Al-Monitor, “Hamas has nothing to worry. It’s resisting Israel and defending its folks in accordance with worldwide treaties and conventions.”
Hamdan continued, “No court docket can be reputable if it yields to strain to implement insurance policies that contravene the fundamental ideas on which it was based. The ICC was created to do justice to the oppressed and to not stand by the oppressor. If this precept is violated, nobody would blame the oppressed for any subsequent conduct.”
Al-Monitor requested Hamdan concerning the chance the ICC may concern a subpoena to Hamas leaders over occasions in Gaza akin to the killing of individuals accused of collaborating with Israel in the course of the 2014 warfare. “There’s a wide-scale marketing campaign geared toward diverting the ICC’s path,” he stated, in reference to US, Israeli and different Western nations’ strain on the ICC to analyze Palestinian leaders for warfare crimes.
If Palestinian leaders have been summoned, it could most definitely be over two incidents in 2014. The primary is said to Palestinian factions firing rockets whereas responding to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. The opposite is the execution of 18 Palestinians within the Saraya jail complicated within the Gaza Strip, which was bombed by Israel. The prisoners had escaped the jail and have been tracked down by Hamas militants who killed them within the streets after accusing them of spying for Israel.
Al-Monitor was unable to acquire a remark from the Islamic Jihad concerning the attainable ICC summoning.
Ammar Hijazi, assistant to the international minister for multilateral affairs who can be in control of the ICC file, confused the necessity for Palestine to cooperate with the ICC prosecutor.
He advised Al-Monitor that cooperating with the ICC doesn’t essentially imply agreeing with its findings. “If we really feel a case isn’t proper, we’ll elevate our voice. Our place doesn’t essentially need to be according to the ICC prosecutor,” he stated. “One mustn’t worry accountability for one thing one didn’t commit. The Palestinian facet has not dedicated warfare crimes in the course of the battle with Israel and we now have proof to submit if the ICC prosecutor decides to examine such allegations.”
On potential subpoenas Hijazi stated, “We now have to cooperate. We now have nothing to worry or conceal. It’s best to cooperate with the ICC prosecutor.”
The ICC may summon some Palestinian leaders in an try to look truthful, he stated. “The pleas and proof in opposition to Palestine on committing warfare crimes will seem weak in comparison with these we will invoke in opposition to Israel.”
Shawan Jabarin, director of the Al-Haq Basis, a Palestinian human rights group based mostly within the West Financial institution, argued that Palestinians underestimate the potential for ICC summoning Palestinian leaders. “The Palestinian facet has but to noticeably refute the allegations raised within the worldwide commissions about what occurred in the course of the 2014 warfare in Gaza,” he advised Al-Monitor, arguing that the inner divide additional impeded a correct response.
Jabarin famous, “A number of allegations have been made and the Palestinian Public Prosecution must totally look at them, however this didn’t occur. Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas ought to create a good surroundings to correctly cope with these allegations.”
He defined that reconciliation ought to unify the Palestinian judiciary, and an investigation committee should be arrange to look at all allegations and reply to them.
Jabarin continued, “I imagine the ICC doesn’t look at warfare crimes dedicated by just one entity. It may take a extra stringent place towards the Palestinians as a result of we’re [divided and vulnerable]. No Palestinian investigative our bodies examined these warfare crime allegations, got here up with solutions and outcomes and formulated a transparent authorized place to maintain the ICC from intervening.”
He concluded, “There’s nonetheless a chance for the Palestinians to get issues again on observe by attaining reconciliation.”