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ICC to investigate Israel's actions during Operation Protective Edge

by Peace We Can  19.01.2015 The International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague has decided to launch a preliminary investigation to determine whether war crimes were committed in Gaza last summer by Israel, during Operation Protective Edge. The Palestinians- both Fatah and Hamas officials- have praised the decision, and a quote from El Hayat newpaper even goes as far to claim this indicates the incrimination of Israel is as good as done. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu voiced his unequivocal objection "It’s absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don’t have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel, while the US State Department issued a statement “strongly” disagreeing with the ICC prosecutor’s decision.

A more nuanced examination of the facts, as presented in this article of YNet detailing the full implications of the decision, reveals that this is only the first step of a lengthy process, which might not lead to the results the Palestinians hope for. If Israel will conduct a serious self-examination into the same events, (an investigation that had already begun, as reported on this site) the UN court may find its own investigations are redundant, or at least this might postpone the  rocess, as explained by Dr. Sigall Horovitz, former legal advisor at the UN tribunals for Rwanda and Sierra Leone: "...there is another material condition (that must be met by the ICC court in order to launch a criminal investigation) - the 'complementarity condition' - which means that the court will not launch a criminal investigation as long as there is a state investigation (by the Israeli authorities, for example) into the same offenses." 

 

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