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Switzerland: Palestinians join Geneva Conventions on war
Published Friday 11/04/2014 (updated) 21/04/2014 17:16
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GENEVA (AFP) -- The Palestinian Authority has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties' guardian Switzerland confirmed Friday.

Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP that the Palestinian Authority had declared itself party to the conventions on April 2.

This was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday, he added.

The step is part of a new diplomatic drive by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, coming as peace talks with Israel are close to collapse.

Abbas said he had received a letter from the Swiss president confirming the registration, and praised it as "an historic day for the Palestinian people," a senior Palestinian official said.

The Palestinians had pledged to freeze all moves to seek membership in UN organizations and international conventions -- a stepping stone to recognition of their hoped-for state -- during the talks in return for Israel's release of veteran Arab prisoners.

Israel has meanwhile made a new bid to expand settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

The original Geneva Conventions were crafted in the 19th century under the auspices of the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, and recast after World War II.

Over the subsequent decades, optional protocols were added to take into account the developing realities of war and its impact on civilians.

The Palestinians have also submitted requests to the United Nations to join 13 other international conventions and treaties, and the world body said Thursday that the move was legal.

The treaties include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture and an anti-corruption accord.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
1 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
11/04/2014 18:00
Bravo Palestine for using Israel’s own diplomatic methods to fight back the Israeli occupation.

2 ) mitch / usa
11/04/2014 18:05
What about hamas and gaza? where do they fit in all this?

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
11/04/2014 18:24
Welcome to hell, Palestine! Now that you have signed, your leaders are going to be held accountable for their war crimes. Please get the next generation of leaders ready, because there are lots of Israelis ready to make sure that Abbas, Haniya, Meshaal, Dahlan, Barghouti and the rest have the blood of thousands of innocent civilians on their heads. They will all stand trial for their crimes and sit in jail for the rest of their lives.

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
11/04/2014 18:29
The Palestinian Authority, or UN non-member State of Palestine, has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, so
* PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY LEADERS WILL BE GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES every single time that Gaza fires a rocket, a mortar, or even a bullet at Israeli civilians in tthe conflict zone, AND
guilty of HUMANITARIAN VIOLATIONS, for every (Shalit-like) prisoner denied Red Cross visits !!!

5 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
11/04/2014 19:43
So happy to learn this !

6 ) LilianN / UK
11/04/2014 22:38
THIS IS CHECKMATE FOR PALESTINE UN-RESOLUTION 478...The Palestinians must abandon the'peace process'proposed by the US.(biased funded the occupation)And TO 3 4-THE War Criminals & Terrorists are almost all politicians and Every single Israeli soldier who crosses the border of 1967 is enforcing an illegal occupation,ethnical cleansing, genocide They are without exception war criminals,We will bring them before justice.

7 ) Rabiah / Gaza, Ps
12/04/2014 00:23
Oh President Abbas, so happy to see Palestine moving forward, joining the Geneva Convention & showing the world that we have the right to self determination. What would be good too, is to hear a bit more about your thoughts on Gaza. We also are hoping Hamas will reconcile with Fatah, bringing about lasting unity. If the negotiations with Israel continue, some of us would like Hamas to be a part of them. Hamas supported us in resistance, now we'd like them to help us to achieve peace & statehood.

8 ) Possible & Impossible / PLO, Israel, & the Rest
12/04/2014 00:56
-1- The PLO has gotten everything that was POSSIBLE by talking, to return to the Land AND to have sovereignty in Area A & Gaza, but -2- The Rest (1967, E. Jerusalem, & refugee return) is IMPOSSIBLE, and -3- The State of Israel, after the PLO's unilateral moves, has no reason to give them anything more, much less continue giving/keeping other promises to the PLO promise breakers received in Oslo !!!

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/04/2014 01:39
Chutzpah points for Brian and Tibi. How can a Zionist seriously complain about anyone else committing war crimes? It's like Nazis criticizing America for interning the Japanese.

10 ) shirley / australia
12/04/2014 06:34
it may have been better to leave the geneva conventions a while longer as pals do not have sophisticated weapons to drive illegal aliens out unless pa are counting on more sanctions on isreal or being able to go back to unscc and get 9 votes to wipe out us vetoand get 2/3rds majority to become state better to have joined sea and air conventions to get blockade lifted and right to military state pals have not joined iccand if they did just lie isreal would have right to internal trials

11 ) Mel / USA
13/04/2014 21:13
Good! But when will EU,UK,USA,UN DEMAND an end to 60yrs of Zionist invasion &occupation which CONTINUES? Under Zionism,Israel is TOAST anyway,& to put an icing(membership of treaties conventions)on a CAKE THAT IS NOT EVEN MADE YET(END OF OCCUPATION),is rather cart before horse,what?And,lest we forget,the PA is nationally unelected,merely a non-Jewish arm of Zionism's DESTRUCTION of Muslim,Christian Palestine.Just END Israel's occupation/war crimes&STOP the checks to Israeli Nazi's.

12 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:09
Well, well, well. Commenters like Brian and Outlier have been cool, calm and collected calling for the Palestinians to persist with talks and "negotiate" a peace treaty and a state. It seems pointless "talks" with no chance of achieving anything, due to the intractable Israeli bottom line, is where they were happiest for the Palestinians to be...with their leaders perfunctorily and clownishly going along. But now Abbas has called their bluff and turned to the UN, they're unravelling.

13 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:09
(contd.) And it's not pretty (see #3). But what they're expressing is a collective, tantrumous dummy spit, lashing out viciously at imagined enemies, which seems to have gurgled up from the depths of the Israeli soul! Seems the Palestinians have touched a nerve and their "unilateral" (i.e. independent) step is a deep affront to Israeli supremacism, the sense of WHO should be in control. It's like panicked slave-owners or aristocrats watching their world crumbling...or the dying throes,

14 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:10
(contd.) the last vicious gasp of a regime as it passes, in the words of the Imam, from the pages of history (or is "wiped of the map", depending on your farsi).

15 ) ian / australia
20/04/2014 04:27
#3 "Welcome to hell, Palestine!" I suppose now Brian has lost it, it's up to Outlier and Arnold to make the case. G-d help us.
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