Alleged crimes: Hague court turns down Palestinian plea

Published: April 4, 2012

Prosecutor’s office says in statement even though Palestine been recognised as a state by more than 130 governments.

AMSTERDAM / JERUSALEM: 

The International Criminal Court rejected on Tuesday a request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate alleged crimes committed in the Palestinian Territories, saying it had no jurisdiction in what is not a full UN member state.

The decision dashed Palestinian hopes that the war crimes court, based in The Hague, might examine the events of the 2008-2009 Gaza war in which about 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that even though Palestine has been recognised as a state by more than 130 governments, the fact that its current status before the United Nations General Assembly is that of observer, rather than a full member, puts it outside the court’s jurisdiction.

“Today’s decision appears to close the door for now on access to the ICC for victims of international crimes committed in the Palestinian Territories – at least until the General Assembly recognises Palestinian statehood,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

“It also shines a spotlight on an ugly reality – many parts of the world remain beyond the ICC’s reach. People from influential states and their allies have been able to evade justice for crimes in Gaza, as well as in Syria, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Iraq and elsewhere.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel “welcomes the decision on the lack of ICC jurisdiction” but that it had reservations about “some of the legal pronouncements and assumptions” in the prosecutor’s statement. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • huzaifa
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Isn’t it time to change UN which is based in USA, operated by USA and works for USA/ Europe. This part of the world must have an entity which can look after interest of people other then of Europe and their allies?

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:08PM

    It’s really a disgrace for the International Criminal Court that its prosecutor, denied Palestinian and Israeli victims of crimes justice. The chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, known for being controversial is not a judge and the case should have been heard by the judges. His political bias and inconsistency with the independence of the Court is not tolerable.

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  • Singh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:45PM

    @huzaifa:
    The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands not in USA.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @huzaifa:
    think you would find a great deal of support for your position in the US. At any given time between 40 and 60 percent of Americans would agree with you. It goes the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.

    This would be an ideal situation. Non democratic and radical nations such as China, PAK, North Korea and Iran could pass all the resolutions they wanted and the world could stand back and watch them get implemented. This would turn the UN into the League of Nations

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  • huzaifa
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:31PM

    @Singh:
    If it is a judicial organ of UN then from where it is being controlled? ANY IDEAS (:

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  • huzaifa
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:50PM

    @Harry Stone:
    In fact, i am not suggesting to abolish UN as its the only Platform available for interlocutory purposes between nations. To start with shift it to a place like Dubai or Malaysia so the direct influence of US and Europe could be neutralized. These countries i mentioned have the capability to support and give security to such organizations. You mentioned nondemocratic nations with contempt, basically that is the problem because of which except Europe and US every body is unhappy from UN. YOU people have your very own scales to judge other nations and their systems( remember famous saying of President Bush” YOU ARE WITH US OR AGAINST US”). WELL, there are two nations you mentioned, who’s civilizations are thousands of years older then you and compared to them you look upstarts but you want to mold world into league of nations as per your scale. History tells us that this cannot happen except in Movies made by the US. I personally think that american people are great and can lead the world but not with this attitude .( YOU ARE WITH US OR AGAINST US).

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