Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said on Friday 20th December that she would launch a full inquiry into the alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories once the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT has seen that it has the necessary jurisdiction.
What is the ICC?
The International criminal court is a permanent International court established on 17th July 1998 after 120 states adopted a statute in Rome (Rome Statute) which is known as the Rome Statute of the International criminal court. It is imperative to note that for the first time in the history of humankind that states decided to accept the jurisdiction of a permanent International criminal court. The primary mission of the International criminal court is to do everything in its capacity to put an end to impunity. Israelis have always escaped scrutiny.
The seat of the International criminal court (ICC) is in The Hague in the Netherlands and is funded by the State parties and voluntary contributions. The ICC does not need a mandate from the United Nations to try individuals for crimes within its jurisdictions.
Who can be prosecuted before the ICC?
According to an official document from the ICC “the ICC has jurisdiction only with respect to events which occurred after the entry into force of its statute on 1st July 2002. If a State becomes a party to the statute after its entry into force, the court may exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force for that State, unless that State made a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC retroactively. However, the court cannot exercise jurisdiction with respect to events which occurred before 1st July 2002”.
What sorts of offences are tried?
The ICC tried individuals, after investigations, charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the International community: Genocide, war, crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression…
What are Palestinian territories?
The term “Palestinian territories” has been used for many years to describe the territories occupied illegally by Israel since 1967 namely:
- The West Bank
- The Gaza Strip
In a statement Fatou Bensouda said “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine. In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip”.
WHY MUST THE ICC RULE ON WHICH TERRITORY IT HAS JURISDICTION?
Simply because Israel is not a member of the court.
Fatou Bensouda urged the judges to rule on the court’s jurisdiction “without undue delay”.
It is apposite to note that the Palestinians signed the ICC in 2015 and have already accepted the court’s jurisdiction. But the Palestinians have systematically urged the court to move faster.
Fatouma Bensouda launched a preliminary probe into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity following THE 2014 GAZA WAR which left 2, 251 dead on the Palestinian side… and the world know that the majority of those killed were civilians. Israel lost 74 persons… the majority were soldiers.
The fascist Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond to the statement of Fatou Bensouda by stating:
“It is a dark day for truth and justice. The court has no jurisdiction in this case. The ICC only has jurisdictions over petitions submitted by sovereign states. But there has never been a Palestinian State”…
In response the Palestinians said:
“What we seek is an end to the oppression, to the tyranny, the violation of human rights… of Palestinian people.”
An Israel minister Bezalel Smotrich has called on his government to dismantle the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY GOVERNMENT in reaction to the ICC’s decision to investigate into alleged war crimes. He even went to the extent to ask Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give the Palestinian Authority a 48 hour ultimatum to withdraw the charges or dismantle the Palestinian government “IMMEDIATELY” if the deadline was not met…
Question that you must ask yourself: Why is Israel scared?
The United States have also refused to sign up to the court… ask yourself again why?
With the coming elections next year in Israel (after Netanyahu has been elected by a landslide as leader of Likud: expect the unexpected) and the presidential elections in the United States. The Palestinians will again be a scapegoat. And yet we will remain silent…
And the silence of intellectuals is stanching.
Welcome 2020! May God Bless the Palestinians!