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Several Palestinians dead as Israeli forces shell Rafah home
Rights groups urge Palestine to join ICC
Published Friday 09/05/2014 (updated) 11/05/2014 12:57
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Palestinians carry their national flag as they rally in the Khan Yunis
refugee camp in southern Gaza, on May 7, 2014 (AFP/File Said Khatib)
LONDON (AFP) -- Human rights groups including Amnesty International on Thursday urged Palestine to sign up to the International Criminal Court.

Seventeen local and international human rights organisations made the request in a joint letter to President Mahmoud Abbas, Amnesty said.

The London-based organisation said if Palestine "signed up to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the Court would have jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories and by its nationals elsewhere."

The joint letter urged Abbas to "take the necessary steps for Palestine to become a party" to the ICC.

"Doing so would send an important message that entrenched impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories must end once and for all,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program director.

In April, Abbas signed membership applications for 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone.

"This is not a move against America, or any other party -- it is our right," he said at the time.

Israel maintains its position that the Palestinian Authority which Abbas heads fall short of the criteria for statehood.

The United States and Israel have lobbied strongly against UN recognition of the Palestinians, arguing that a separate state can only be achieved through direct negotiations.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
09/05/2014 11:53
Bring it on . The leaderships of Hamas, Fatah and PIJ as well as the senior field commanders of each of these groups will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for their war crimes. This would bring in new leadership and maybe pave the way for a peace treaty.

2 ) Carlos / usa
09/05/2014 22:56
Brian Cohen/ Israel you sound like George Bush in 2003. He said on a US war ship in the gulf of Iran, to the Iraqi insurgents bring it on. Five years later he left his office with the lowest ratings of any president ever. His country was a shambles because of his gross mismanagement. israel will not come out well in the ICC. I can guarantee you this israel leadership is directly connected to the crimes being perpetrated.

3 ) Mel / USA
10/05/2014 17:20
#1:Brian? Why are you such a Zionist troll,living under your bridge of denial? Your bravado is so LAME in the face of the reality that Israel is imploding beneath its own stupidity,ego&extremism.Denialism is so frequent in those who have the most to lose &fear!You forget what gave Fatah,Hamas,PLO & PIJ etc their right to RESIST--ongoing,illegal Zionist-Israeli military Occupation,land theft&persecution of humans(all war crimes)aided by USG & its vassal states!Zionism is crucifying peace!WAKE UP!
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