COURT REJECTS CLAIMS OF ISRAELI ´CRIMES´ / Refuses to adopt agenda of attacking Jewish state (WND-WORLD NET DAILY) 04/04/12)
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The International Criminal Court has refused to submit to an apparent
concerted international political campaign to attack Israel over its
rights, territory and even existence, stating today that “Palestine”
doesn’t qualify as a “state” to bring a complaint over the
confrontations in Gaza in recent years.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC rejected claims that accused
Israel of war crimes of the Gaza conflict It noted that
while “Palestine” has been recognized as a state in bilateral
relations by more than 130 governments and by certain international
organizations, “the current status granted to Palestine by the United
Nations General Assembly is that of ‘observer,’ not as a ‘non-member
The court’s report today said “the office understands that on 23
September 2011, Palestine submitted an application for admission to
the United Nations as a member state in accordance with article 4(2)
of the United Nations Charter, but the Security Council has not yet
made a recommendation in this regard.”
Therefore, the court said, “It is for the relevant bodies at the
United Nations or the Assembly of States parties to make the legal
determination whether Palestine qualifies as a state for the purpose
of … enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the court.”
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and
Justice, called it a “major victory for Israel in the international
arena and a sound defeat for the unfounded ‘lawfare’ attack leveled
Its European counterpart, the European Center for Law and Justice,
had argued the case.
“What’s clear is that this legal assault against Israel not only
lacked jurisdiction, but amounted to nothing more than an
international campaign to discredit and demonize Israel,” said
Sekulow. “We applaud the findings of the Office of the Prosecutor,
which paralleled our arguments in defense of Israel.
Sekulow said the decision “closes the case, removes it from the
court’s docket, and brings finality to this issue, ending a flawed
attempt to use the international legal system in an effort to wrongly
punish Israel before the international community.”
Three years ago, the Palestinian Authority tried to lodge a
declaration that accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for “acts
committed on the territory of Palesteine since 1 July 2002.”
For three years, the issue was under investigation.
The European Center for Law and Justice filed documents arguing that
Palestine did not meet the international standard for statehood, and
the ECLJ argued before the ICC on the issue.
The goal of the complaint apparently had been a permanent war crimes
tribunal to investigate Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip starting at
the end of 2008.
Shawan Jabarin, director of al-Haq, a Palestinian rights group
lobbying against Israel, told the Associated Press: “There’s no
domestic remedy for Palestinians to seek justice here. There’s
nothing before Palestinians except to search for justice outside. The
most important body for us was the ICC.”
The conflict also had been the subject of a report from South African
judge Richard Goldstone, whose U.N.-sponsored report originally
blasted Israel and its actions in the Gaza conflict. The report was
endorsed by the U.N. General Assembly, but Goldstone himself later
pulled back his conclusions.
In the Washington Post he later wrote, “We know a lot more today
about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I
chaired the fact-finding mission.
“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have
been a different document,” he said.
“Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and ‘possibly
crimes against humanity’ by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes
allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying –
its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian
targets,” he explained. “The allegations of intentionality by Israel
were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations
where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any
other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by
the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report
have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated
… they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted
as a matter of policy.”
Palestinians had been hoping to establish a legal framework with
which to sue the Jewish state for deaths and damages from the
Robert Ash, senior litigation counsel for the ACLJ, earlier said
there was a danger from the misinformation in the Goldstone report.
“The Goldstone Report makes a mockery of objective fact-finding,” Ash
said when it came out. “Instead of commending Israel for its efforts
to avoid the Gaza conflict in the first place and then to avoid
civilian casualties once the war began, the Goldstone Report blames
Israel and gives a pass to Hamas and its terrorist allies who
triggered the conflict.
“By exonerating Hamas from its responsibility for causing the war and
for placing Palestinian civilians at risk, the Goldstone Report
provides Hamas terrorists with a propaganda victory which encourages
them to try the same thing again,” he warned.
In another case, the ICC is deliberating about Israel’s decision to
fend off a flotilla that aimed to break a blockade of arms shipments
into Gaza. (© 2012 WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. 04/04/12)
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