RNW International Justice
February 3 2009
The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun a “preliminary analysis” of alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza.
With a delicate truce in Gaza, the extent of Israel’s 22-day offensive in Hamas-controlled Gaza last month is becoming increasingly clear. Human rights investigators say they have evidence of war crimes by all parties to the conflict.
The ICC is exploring its power to prosecute Israelis for alleged war crimes. In the past month the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has received over 210 appeals from Palestinians and NGOs to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
When Palestinian human rights groups petitioned the ICC to investigate war crimes reports earlier this month, Mr Ocampo said he was unable to take the case because his court had no jurisdiction over Israel. But now he says he is examining the case for Palestinian jurisdiction.
The ICC can try individuals only if the accused is a citizen of an ICC member state or the crime took place on the territory of such a state. The United Nations Security Council can also request the ICC to open an investigation, a scenario which is highly unlikely.
Mr Ocampo can also start an investigation into the Gaza conflict if a non member state accepts the court’s jurisdiction, which is the road the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is now seeking to take. It has recognised the court’s jurisdiction over the alleged crimes on 22 January.
‘De Facto State’
The Palestinian Authority wants to be able to refer matters to the ICC, but its territories are not recognised as an independent state. Palestinian lawyers, however, argue that the PNA is the ‘de facto’ state in Gaza, citing Israel’s claim that it has no responsibility for Gaza under international law since it withdrew in 2006.
“They are quoting jurisprudence,” Mr Ocampo says. “It’s very complicated. It’s a different kind of analysis I am doing. It may take a long time but I will make a decision according to law.”
Determining jurisdiction is just a first step. Mr Ocampo can only launch an investigation into the reported crimes once it has been decided he has the power to do so.
Mr Ocampo’s office is currently conducting similar preliminary analysis of situations in a number of countries, including Chad, Kenya, Afghanistan, Georgia and Colombia.
Amnesty International (AI) researchers say they have found evidence of war crimes by all parties to the conflict, which left hundreds of Palestinian civilians dead, devastated the territory’s infrastructure and created a humanitarian catastrophe.
AI says its delegates have found evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus against Palestinian civilians in densely populated residential areas in Gaza, while indiscriminate rocket attacks on the part of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups killed several Israeli civilians.
Israel will never prosecute any of their soldiers for war crimes. In their eyes they have not done anything wrong. As a matter of fact they encourage their soldiers to commit crimes. They have even warned their solders about leaving the country as another country may arrest them and prosecute them for war crimes. If Israel is warning them they themselves certainly are not going to prosecute them now or ever.
Even settlers who kill Palestinians get a very light sentence, if any at all.
Rather like the KKK in the olden days in the US who killed blacks.
Same type of justice. Little or none at all. The Similarities are uncanny.
In Israel you are more likely to be jailed, for refusing to serving in their army.
The ICC and other Countries must do it.
Israel never will. That is why they get away with so many crimes.
If Nazi war criminals can be charged so to can those from Israel.
No exceptions they are not special. Why should they get special treatment? Gaza is a “Concentration Camp”. That in of itself is a crime.
Everything else that followed is also a crime and those responsible should be punished. Israel must answer to the Geneva Convention, Even if they haven’t signed the Rome Statute. There is more then enough evidence to prove their guilt.
Israel has been in violation of the “Geneva Convention” for years.
Under the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, they are also in violation.
Israel is also in violation under the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.
They are also in Violation of the UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA. “The Spirit of Humanity” and “Dignity” fall under that treaty.
Israel is in violation of “Declaration of the Rights of the Child”
Their plea of Self Defense is bogus.
If I were “St Peter” at the “Gates of Heaven” Guess who wouldn’t be getting through the gates?
They would be sent to that really hot spot. Better know as H E double hockey sticks, where they could think about what they have done, for an eternity.
If I were the Judge presiding over their case, they would be spending a very long time in prison for their crimes. Like until death do est part.
Be sure to sign the Petition. Do pass it on.