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Rights groups call for Palestine to join ICC
Published Monday 10/12/2012 (updated) 12/12/2012 11:02
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Palestinians run after an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City
Nov. 18, 2012. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The recently UN-recognized state of Palestine must join the International Criminal Court, four Palestinian human rights groups urged on Monday.

Marking international Human Rights Day, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said it was launching an advocacy campaign for the court to gain jurisdiction over Palestine.

After winning a UN status upgrade in November, Palestine could sign the court's Rome Statute, allowing prosecutions for genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations on Palestinian territory.

The PCHR, al-Dameer, al-Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian NGO Network on Monday issued a call for Palestine to join the court and for it to open an investigation into alleged war crimes.

A UN-sponsored report recommended the investigation of war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2008-9 war on Gaza, but the ICC Prosecutor said at the time he could not determine whether Palestine fulfilled statehood criteria.

The rights groups said the lack of accountability after this war "allowed Israel to carry out yet another offensive" this November.

"In the absence of an independent body which is empowered to investigate the alleged commission of crimes against the people of Palestine and to hold the perpetrators accountable, Israeli forces continue to act with impunity and disregard numerous principles of international human rights and humanitarian law," the statement said.

"We have worked for many years within the Israeli judicial system, trying to achieve justice and accountability for Palestinian victims; this experience has unequivocally proven that the system is incapable of ensuring an effective remedy for Palestinian victims."
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
10/12/2012 18:57
Hold on, Ma'an - please stop calling these groups "human rights" groups because they are not - they are either anti-Israel groups or pro-Palestinian lobby groups. Human rights has next to nothing to do with them, otherwise they'd also demand that the ICC prosecute Palestinian leaders for imprisoning and torturing thousands of political prisoners and journalists. Six Palestinians were murdered in the street two weeks ago. These 4 groups couldn't care less. They are NOT human rights groups.

2 ) @ Brian-1 / USA
10/12/2012 19:12
It matters not what Maan calls the groups, but if PALESTINE joins the icc, and Gaza fires more rockets, at Israeli civilians, it WILL BE labeled as A TERRORIST STATE".

3 ) Emile / Palestine
10/12/2012 21:56
#1, Hold on, Brian, please stop calling occupied Palestine "Israel". It is not, and you are not a normal innocent civilian. You are complicit in the theft of entire nation. You are nothing better than a common criminal if not worse. Please go back where ever the hell you came from like a nice boy.

4 ) ian / australia
11/12/2012 00:01
#1 "Hold on, Ma'an - please stop calling these groups "human rights" groups because they are not - they are either anti-Israel groups or pro-Palestinian lobby groups." Can't see the problem Brian. Why can't they be all three? They're not mutually exclusive. And why shouldn't Palestinian Human Rights/anti-Israel/lobby groups BEGIN with the BIG problem facing Palestinians? Israeli aggression and criminality. And ICC membership is the perfect place to start because grievances there are at the

5 ) ian / australia
11/12/2012 00:03
(contd.) state to state level. Man-a-mano. When that's sorted the PCHR can turn to internal Palestinian breaches of HR law, which by comparison are small beer. (Emile/Palestine #3 has an interesting point about you going "back where ever the hell you came from..." Care to come clean on that Brian? Were you born in Israel? Or are you a recent arrival in the land of your forefathers from the US or elsewhere? No I didn't think so.

6 ) Deborah / USA
11/12/2012 00:40
Brian--Israel will call Palestine a "terrorist state," but that doesn't mean the rest of the world will agree. In fact it's entirely possible that the rest of the world won't care what Netanyahu says.

7 ) ian / australia
11/12/2012 01:26
#2 "...but if PALESTINE joins the icc, and Gaza fires more rockets, at Israeli civilians, it WILL BE labeled as A TERRORIST STATE". Not necessarily because like ALL states Palestine/Gaza has a right to defend against aggression from the TRUE terrorist state next door. But I think we'll soon find out when Justice, being blind, is applied EQUALLY to the two neighbour states and their crimes. And I don't think Palestine has anything to fear. If Hamas has to pay a fine for every "pipe" fired into

8 ) ian / australia
11/12/2012 01:27
(contd.) Israel or compensate for all those damaged sheds (and holes in the ground) or even foot the bill for all the "shock" and trauma counselling, plus damages...well...G-d help Israel and ITS liability for a record of sustained criminality and mass destruction over decades.

9 ) Amira / Canada
11/12/2012 02:07
Are settlers innocent civilians? They are the arm of the occupation. They are land thieves, they are armed, they constantly attack Palestinians, invade their home and forcefully make them refugees in their own land. Without the setlers there would be no settlements, and settlements are illegal under international law. If they free the settlements, there won't be any conflict. Palestinians will go back to their home (i.e. liberated settlements) and settlers will return to Europe.

10 ) Basil / USA
11/12/2012 09:36
Wasn't Israel founded on terrorism and ethnic cleansing? Those 750,000 people didn't flee in 1948 because they wanted to go on some ethnic vacation.

11 ) shirley / australia
11/12/2012 12:05
fist be asignutary to geneva conventions now allowed being astate this straight away makes prisoners prisoners of war and illegal moving of occupying country population into occuppied land illegal

12 ) Julie / USA
11/12/2012 18:20
Pals not joining the ICC is equivalent to giving izrahell a green light to continue committing whatever crimes it wants. e.g.: murder, land theft, torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity. the sooner Pals join the ICC, the sooner izrahell will be held accountable for ALL its heinous crimes.

13 ) ian / australia
14/12/2012 00:27
#9 "...and settlers will return to Europe." That's all true Amira except that the half million settlers could also just go to new subsidised homes in Israel. They're only in the settlements coz it's cheap (and coz they have no morals). (Only the crazies in Hebron are there for religious reasons.) (And they might not have come from Europe.) And in some "flexible" proposals, they could even keep close settlements like Pizgat Ze'ev swapping them for equivalent chunks of Israel. And in a gesture of

14 ) ian / australia
14/12/2012 00:28
(contd.) extraordinary good will, Palestine could always throw in the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, both occupied territory, relinquishing them FOREVER, for a reciprocated "good will" from Israel. There are lots of possibilities.
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