#AceNewsServices – Featured Post & Opinions: On New Years Day, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly signed papers that would see Palestine join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The move came after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution last night calling for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of 2017.
DIANA BUTTU, Ramallah-based analyst, former advisor to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiators, and Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network:
“While it is not clear that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will ever seek to charge Israel for its extensive war crimes, if the reports are true this latest move by the PLO and President Abbas is an important step towards holding Israel accountable for its past crimes and preventing future ones.
“I hope that this is followed by the PLO joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and by the international community finally taking measures to isolate Israel for its illegal actions. Israel cannot continue to be treated as though it is above the law and the Palestinians beneath it.”
SHAWAN JABARIN, Director-General of Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human rights organization and affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists: “Abbas’ decision to finally accede to the Rome Statute is ground-breaking; it makes it possible for the International Criminal Court to prosecute and punish those most responsible for committing serious crimes. As such, the Court can ultimately erase the immunity that Israel has effectively afforded its own soldiers, officials and politicians. There is no doubt that Palestine’s accession will fundamentally change the way that Israel carries out its occupation and treats Palestinians.”
GEORGE BISHARAT, Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, and former legal consultant to the Palestinian Legislative Council:“Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court – an institution relatively insulated from the political pressures of the United Nations Security Council – is long overdue. Mahmoud Abbas has finally taken steps to initiate accession, and the burden now shifts to the ICC Prosecutor to determine Palestine’s eligibility to join the court.
“It remains to be seen whether she will honour past informal statements welcoming Palestinian accession, and whether, in fact, the ICC will have the institutional fortitude to investigate allegations of Israel’s violations of international law. Hamas’s possible war crimes will almost certainly be investigated as well, if for no other reason to deflect claims of bias against the court. But the urgent necessity is to curb Israel’s crimes, which are so massive, regular, and systematic, that they threaten the international legal system itself. Abbas, perhaps despite himself, may have done service not only to his beleaguered people, but to the international community as a whole.”
“Moving a step closer to holding Israel accountable for the egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity it has perpetrated against the Palestinian people is certainly welcome by all Palestinians. Most Palestinians, however, realize that Israel’s far right regime and the deeply complicit US government take a lot of the credit for defeating a terrible resolution that forsakes basic Palestinian rights, thus forcing the un-elected, obsequious and discredited PA leadership to take this step in the right direction.”
OSAMAH KHALIL, Assistant Professor of United States & Middle East History at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and co-founder of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network:
“The long overdue decision by the Palestinian Authority leadership to sign the Rome Statute reflects their frustration with a failed peace process, the Obama administration’s wilful indifference, and Israel’s continued occupation. Yet joining the International Criminal Court is only meaningful if Abbas actually uses it to hold Israel accountable for its repeated violations of international law and Palestinian rights.
Otherwise, it will be little more than a symbolic gesture that will not change Israel’s behaviour or force Washington to engage in a meaningful way.”
History of Statute of Rome:
#AceWorldNews – Featured Post: 25/11/2013 says the history of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) spans over more than a century. The “road to Rome” was a long and often contentious one.
While efforts to create a global criminal court can be traced back to the early 19th century, the story began in earnest in 1872 with Gustav Moynier – one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross – who proposed a permanent court in response to the crimes of the Franco-Prussian War. The next serious call for an internationalized system of justice came from the drafters of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, who envisaged an ad hoc international court to try the Kaiser and German war criminals of World War I.
Following World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals. Read More:
AceWorldNews – NEW YORK – September 26 – Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Friday of conducting a “war of genocide” and a “series of absolute war crimes” during the 50-day summer conflict in Gaza, but stopped short of saying he will pursue war crime charges against the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court AP reported.
In his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas also said he will seek a U.N. resolution to set a deadline for Israel to pull out of Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 war but did not include a three-year deadline as his aides had said he would.