ICC to Probe Israeli War Crimes in Occupied Palestine
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Since established by the Rome Statute in 2002, the ICC never held the US, other Western nations, or Israel accountable for their high crimes — just their victims.
Time and again, the court breached its mandate to “end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern” — including crimes of war and against humanity, aggression and genocide.
Israel isn’t a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Clearly it won’t accept its judgment other than exoneration.
On Friday, the ICC claimed jurisdiction over “territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
On December 20, 2019, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the following:
“Today, I announce that following a thorough, independent and objective assessment of all reliable information available to my Office, the preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met,” adding:
“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to article 53(1) of the Statute.”
“I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
Referring to summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge, she said the following:
“The Israel Defense Forces intentionally launched disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents which the ICC has focused, as well as intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.”
The ICC explained that “(o)n 2 January 2015, the Government of Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute by depositing its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General.”
On April 1, 2015, the Rome Statute for Palestine took effect, giving the ICC authority to investigate crimes of war and against humanity in Occupied Palestine since June 13, 2014.
The court may legally investigate war crimes committed during Israel’s preemptive Protective Edge aggression on Gaza from July 8 – August 26, 2014.
“Palestine…agreed to subject itself to the terms of the ICC Rome Statute and has the right to be treated as any other State Party for the matters related to the implementation of the Statute.”
In response to its announced probe, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the decision “pivotal,” adding:
It’s a “historic day for the principle of accountability.”
Whether true or false depends on whether the court holds Israel accountable for indisputable crimes of war and against humanity in the Occupied Territories.
Last year, Kamala Harris signed a letter that called an ICC investigation of Israel “a dangerous politicization of the court and distorts the purposes for which (it) was established (sic), adding:
“(T)he US should stand in full force” against this action.
In response to the announced ICC probe, Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet rejected what it called the court’s “outrageous” decision, adding:
Its probe “exposes the court as a political body aligned with international organizations that are motivated by anti-Semitism (sic).”
There’s noting anti-Semitic about justifiable accusations of high Israeli crimes that demand accountability.
It’s unindicted war criminal Netanyahu’s time and again unjustifiable defense, saying the following last week:
“When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes (sic), this is pure anti-Semitism (sic),” adding:
The court “claims that when democratic Israel (sic) defends itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities (sic), we’re committing another war crime.”
He vowed to fight what he falsely called “this perversion of justice (sic).”
Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, and other victims of Israeli state terror know full well who’s responsible for crimes of war and against humanity against them.
Netanyahu’s customary fallback anti-Semitism claim is hollow every time made.
Bensouda’s office said it’s deciding on “its next step guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate.”
Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath welcomed the ICC probe, calling it “good news (before) launch(ing) an official investigation into Israel’s crimes against our people.”
Biden regime State Department spokesman Ned Price issued the following statement:
“As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute in 2015, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state (sic), and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC (sic),” adding:
“We have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel (sic).”
“The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it, or that are referred by the UN Security Council (sic).”
Whatever the court decides, notably if it finds Israeli officials guilty of war crimes, it has no way to enforce accountability.
Even so, an ICC ruling against Israel would be an international judicial pronouncement of guilt as charged.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”