ICC Warns Israelis May Be Prosecuted for Rome Statute Crimes
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Israel got away with mass murder and much more throughout its history, accountability never forthcoming for its highest of high crimes.
The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court to address four core international crimes – crimes of war, against humanity, aggression and genocide.
Washington, NATO, Israel and their rogue allies remain unaccountable for all of the above crimes too egregious to ignore.
The ICC has jurisdiction over crimes by individuals on the territory of State Parties, by a State Party national, or if authorized by the Security Council – only if committed after July 1, 2002 when the statute became effective.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ or World Court) has jurisdiction over nations.
Throughout its history, the ICC functioned as an imperial tool, notably targeting individuals in nations Western powers designate, most often victims of imperial lawlessness.
The court never laid a glove on America, other NATO nations, or their allies, notably not Israel – despite their clear guilt of the highest of high crimes.
On April 8, chief ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda a statement, sharply criticizing Israel for its actions against Gazans since March 30, saying:
“It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations.”
“Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defense Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets.”
“Violence against civilians – in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court…as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities.”
“I remind all parties that the situation in Palestine is under preliminary examination by my Office.”
“While a preliminary examination is not an investigation, any new alleged crime committed in the context of the situation in Palestine may be subjected to my Office’s scrutiny. This applies to the events of the past weeks and to any future incident.”
“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution before the Court, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. The resort to violence must stop.”
Strong words! Will strong actions follow, a first in the court’s history if occurs – unlikely based on past history.
Bensouda’s remark about using civilians to shield military activities referred to Israel falsely claiming Hamas used this tactic.
No such shielding occurred. Gazans were encouraged to turn out en masse to participate in the “Great March of Return,” continuing on Fridays through the Nakba’s mid-May commemoration.
Hamas leadership encouraged peaceful demonstrations. No one urged violence. Israel committed it preemptively, 32 Palestinians killed, thousands injured, scores seriously – high Israeli crimes by any standard.
Defense for Children International/Palestine highlighted the plight of besieged Gazans in early March, saying “No power, no supplies, no way out,” the right to vital healthcare denied, mortality and misery at intolerable levels.
Ziofascist defense minister Lieberman declared all Gazans legitimate targets, calling them all “Hamas members.”
Bensouda’s warning is unlikely to deter Israeli hardliners, concerned only about maintaining US support. Nothing else matters.
Her strong language is highly unlikely to change a thing. Israel got away with mass murder for the last 70 years.
Expect no change in its ruthlessness ahead or accountability for it.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”