Palestine Joins International Crime Court


A call from Gaza: Make Israel Accountable for its Crimes in Gaza – Intensify BDS! Our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun. The outcome of this battle depends on you.
A call from Gaza: Make Israel Accountable for its Crimes in Gaza – Intensify BDS!
Our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun. The outcome of this battle depends on you. Photo: Reuters

Crimes Against Palestinians Do Not Stop

Children of Palestine have been the defenseless living target of Israeli army for a long time.

Since 2000, among the 8,896 Palestinian people killed by security forces were 1,900 children. During 2014, eleven Palestinian children lost their lives while, during the “busy” (because of the elections) first three months of 2015 “at least 30 children across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, sustained gunshot wounds when Israeli forces used live ammunition to quash protests”, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP). Oddly, military regulations “permit the use of live ammunition, only when a direct, mortal threat exists”.
DCIP declared that “found no evidence that the children injured during 2015 posed such a threat to israeli troops or settlers.”

No doubt about it. No “need” to kill. But abductions, imprisonments and use of violence against such a great number of adult Palestinians is already reprehensible, furthermore against children. DCIP called UN member states to hold Israel accountable for crimes against Palestinian children.

Just a few days before the elections of 17th March, the report of UN Human Rights Commission about war crimes of summer 2014 in Gaza Strip -when 2,220 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,492 were civilians (551 children, 299 women)- was postponed for June, in order to facilitate consideration of newly- surfaced evidence. 
Assume it was not because John Kerry had earlier criticized UN Human Rights Council for “obsession” with human rights and against Israel, something that  “undermines the credibility of the entire organization.”(?)
Even if tortures of prisoners and inhumane and dangerous conditions of detainment have been reported and stigmatized lots of times by numerous Media, organizations and Palestinian Authority, conservative Israeli Media and the government challenge data and reports which show, among others, increased rates of cancer among Palestinian who are detained near nuclear facilities.

Repeated violations of human rights, war crimes, occupation and apartheid are  common knowledge but on the other hand, it is also common practice of israeli authorities to distort and to misinterpret the facts.
Palestinians officially joined International Crime Court on 1st April at a signing ceremony in The Hague attended by diplomats and officials from more than 100 countries. They are expected to pursue charges against Israel for violations of international laws and of course, for war crimes immediately after their admission.

Owned tax revenues in exchange of charges for war crimes

Seeking to avoid the process, in a clearly misleading move, Netanyahu decided the release of tax money that had been illegally seized by israeli authorities since last January. The returned amount will not include tax money of March, but only of January and February. Netanyahu’s office stated that the transfer of the tax revenues to PA “was exclusively based on humanitarian grounds and on Israeli interests”.
Although IMEMC News site published at the end of March information taken from Jerusalem Post, according to which the PA will not pursue formal charges “in exchange of the return of taxes”, Palestinian Foreign minister’s statements during the ceremony at the ICC that “the membership brings the world and Palestine closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice” leave little margin for doubts. Haaretz reported later, that Palestinians deny “halting war crimes charges in exchange for tax revenues” and characterized the report of JP a “spin put out by Prime Minister’s office”. (Israel is not a signatory to the ICC and does not recognize the court’s authority.)

Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti said that, as an official member of ICC, Palestine, “for the first time since 67 years after the establishment of Israel in the historic land of Palestine, there will be a tool, and a means to hold Israel accountable. Israel’s government, its generals and soldiers who continuously commit war crimes against the Palestinians, and Arab nations, must be brought to justice.”

There is no sign of differentiation of israeli policies against Palestinians -quite the opposite. It is understood that Netanyahu’s government is expected to continue demolitions of Palestinian homes, settlements, the occupation and violations of international -humanitarian and other- laws.
In the meantime, although they enjoy the full support of US republicans/ conservatives, their policies cannot afford the intensification of distrust by officials and disdain by citizens in USA.

Impact around the world

The impact of the continuing drama of Palestinian people and the atrocities against them differs in the countries all over the world but remains directly connected to their governments’ policies and their dependence to US conservative cycles.
After the summer 2014 bombings, El Savador, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador have withdrawn their ambassadors in protest while Bolivia has filed a case with the United Nations against Israel’s “crimes against humanity”, with President Evo Morales saying on July 30 “we are declaring [Israel] a terrorist state”, reported teleSUR.

On the opposite side, Australia praised “freedom” and “liberty” in “sister country” Israel – the same country where “the Arab-Palestinian citizens should be decapitated if they betray the country”, according to former foreign minister and a partner of the new government, Avigdor Lieberman’s statement before the elections.
Furthermore, Abbot’s government decided last summer not to refer to Occupied Territories as “occupied”.

The Japanese government announced at the first days of April that they will grant the amount of $ 5 million to the World Food Program in support of the poorest Palestinian families who suffer from food insecurity.

On 2nd April, EU and the Netherlands announced a contribution of about $34.2 million (€31.6 million) to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of its civil servants’ March salaries and pensions, as a first part of 2015 contribution.
EU representative called for a “regular” and “systematic” transfer of Palestinian tax revenues.
Inside EU, several countries’ parliaments have conducted non-binding votes in favor of recognition and Sweden was one of the first countries to recognize Palestine in October 2014.
The member of Syriza and of the European parliament Sofia Sakorafa stated that “There is a fixed commitment of the Greek government to recognize Palestine as a state […] I estimate that very soon the Greek government will also raise the issue.” Similarly have expressed 138 countries within the UN.

A possible result of the continuing Palestinian suffering could very well verify the article of Yousef Munayyer in New York Times after the elections, “Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for Palestine”.

Denial of peace, occupations, violations of human rights, crimes, tortures, killings, demolitions and settlements will turn the states (apart from the entire international public opinion) against Israel.

Rising of  BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is a proof of such a shift and a hope for the future of Palestinians.

Also read:
Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – INTIFADA – Open Letter and memorandum of protest to Amnesty International