World The International Criminal Court will investigate alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories
Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti for president?
If Barghouti runs and wins the Palestinian election, he may well become Palestine’s Nelson Mandela.Predictably, Barghouti is facing a stiff opposition from the octogenarian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is planning a rerun, and from his clique of loyalists in the Fatah party, who have been running the Palestinian Authority for over two decades.
The Attorney General of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Gambian Fatou Bensouda, announced on Wednesday March 3 that she had opened a investigating alleged crimes committed by members of the Israeli forces, Israeli authorities, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza war in the occupied Palestinian territories.
, Israel launched an operation to halt rocket fire by Palestinian Hamas from the Gaza Strip, then under a blockade imposed by the Hebrew state, into its territory. Some 2,250 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians, and 74 Israelis, mostly soldiers, perished in the clashes.
Biden and the ICC: Partial cooperation, selective justice
How will the new administration of President Joe Biden approach the ICC? All signs point towards a return to piecemeal engagement, where Washington uses the court when it suits its interests and undermines it when it does not. Biden has said the United States is “back”. But on international justice, there’s a need to be different – and better. A tumultuous relationship The relationship between the US and the Hague-based court has always been tumultuous.
The investigation will be conducted "with complete independence, impartiality and objectivity, without fear or bias," assured Fatou Bensouda. “Ultimately, it is the victims of both Palestinians and Israelis of the long cycle of violence and insecurity, which has caused deep suffering and terrible feeling. "Investigation" necessary "for the Palestinian Authority
This announcement provoked many reactions. While Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki welcomed this decision, declaring that "the crimes committed by the leaders of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people - which are ongoing, systematic and widespread - make this investigation necessary and urgent ", The Israeli Prime Minister blasted" a decision which is the very essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy ".
From the Arab Spring to the Great March of Return
How the Arab revolutions inspired Palestinian mobilisation in Gaza.When the first protests started in Tunisia in late December 2010, I, like many Arabs who had limited knowledge of Tunisian politics, did not pay much attention. But as the protest movement grew and shook the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, I started following closely.
"We will defend every soldier, every officer, every civilian and I promise you that we will fight for the truth until this scandalous decision is overturned", added Benyamin Netayahou.
In early February,Israel supported by its American ally , the ICC said it had jurisdiction to try alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, a decision already denounced by Israel, for which such an announcement amounted to de facto recognition of a state Palestinian, whose borders should also be the subject of a peace agreement.
, which judges the International Criminal Court "not competent", Israel not being part of the ICC and the Palestinians not being "a sovereign state" , said Ned Price, spokesman for US diplomacy. "The United States has always believed that the jurisdiction of the Court should be confined to the countries which grant it or in the event of referral by the Security Council of the United Nations.
The administration of Donald Trump had taken distrust of the ICC to its extreme by directly sanctioning Fatouma Bensouda and other officials for deciding to investigate allegations of US war crimes in Afghanistan. Joe Biden's government could reverse these sanctions.
Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, then annexed mainly East Jerusalem. Today, these territories are home to at least five million Palestinians, defined by the United Nations as living under Israeli occupation.
Palestinian Authority under fire for VIP vaccines .
Palestinian human rights and civil society groups say the PA’s COVID vaccination programme lacks transparency.A PA health ministry statement on Tuesday said 10 percent of the 12,000 doses it received were given to the Palestinian national football team, government ministers, presidential guards and members of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee. Another 200 doses went to the Jordanian royal court, after a request from Amman.