Criticism from Israel: criminal court wants to investigate in Palestine

Criticism from Israel
Criminal court wants to investigate in Palestine

Israel does not recognize the International Criminal Court (IstGH). Nevertheless, after a long examination, The Hague sees itself responsible for the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel. War crimes on both sides are now to be brought to trial.

The International Criminal Court wants to punish war crimes and atrocities in the Palestinian territories. The judges in The Hague justified their competence for the region with reference to their own founding statutes, according to which specific states or borders do not have to be prerequisites for proceedings before the court. The judges decided that the Palestinian territories that Israel had occupied since 1967, i.e. the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, fell under their jurisdiction.

Israel, whose security forces have often cracked down on Palestinian militants or assassins, criticized the decision. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the court ruling would impair the ability of democratic states to defend themselves against terrorism. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, on the other hand, welcomed the decision as a "historic day" and declared its willingness to cooperate with the criminal court.

The International Criminal Court is supported by 123 states. Its core task is to prosecute crimes against humanity. Israel, like the USA, China and Russia, is one of the countries that does not recognize the international body.

The chief prosecutor at the court, Fatou Bensouda, said in 2019 that there was clear evidence that war crimes had been committed in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. She suspected the Israeli army, armed Palestinians and members of the radical Islamic Hamas as possible perpetrators. She had announced that she would open proceedings as soon as the jurisdiction of the court was clarified.

In their reasoning, the judges emphasized that the decision expressly did not refer to the question of the "statehood" of Palestine or any border disputes. As a state party, Palestine should be treated according to the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the court a "political institution". The US expressed "serious concerns" about the decision.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtajjeh welcomed the decision against it as a "victory of the law". The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) spoke of an important course of action. "It is high time that Israeli and Palestinian criminals who have committed the most serious war crimes (…) come to justice," said HRW director Balkees Jarrah.

. (tagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Israel (t) Palestinian Territories (t) Palestine (t) Hamas (t) International Criminal Court (t) Middle East Conflict (t) Human Rights