Hamas urges Palestinian leadership to seek ICC justice


israel war crimeswar crHamas is pushing a different tactic in its conflict with Israel, urging Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to go before the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes.

The idea of pursuing an investigation into Israel by the international body is not new, but Hamas said on Saturday that it, too, has signed a document supporting such a move.

“Hamas has signed a document demanding Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) go to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders as war criminals for massacres they committed against our people,” Hamas spokesman and senior official Izzat al-Risheq said on Twitter.

The support from Hamas is significant because it could come at a cost to the group itself. An investigation into war crimes could expose Hamas for its own violations.

Abbas, speaking in Cairo Saturday, said that all Palestinian factions would need to support such a bid before making the decision to go to the ICC.

The Palestinians are not currently under the jurisdiction of the ICC, but would be if they sign the court’s Rome Statute, the treaty that established the court.

Back in May, a group of 17 human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, signed a letter to Abbas encouraging him to join the ICC.

The United States and Israel, among some other nations, have pressured Abbas not to take this step, arguing that it would harm peace talks.

Hamas’ announcement comes a day after one of the group’s leaders admitted that its militants were responsible for the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June.

The Hamas Political Bureau member Saleh Aruri added that the kidnappers did not tell their leaders about the action. The kidnappings were not approved by Hamas leadership or its military wing, he said.

The three teens were later found dead. Since then, violence has flared in the region.

The violence continued Saturday, as rockets fired from Gaza landed in Israel. The rocket alerts in Israeli communities near Gaza were continuous.

The Hamas rocket attacks struck in the same area where a 4-year-old boy was killed Friday.

Israel claimed that the mortar that killed the boy was launched from a school operated by the United Nations.

On Saturday, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency said that Israel retracted that statement. The agency criticized Israeli media for repeating the claim without checking with them first.

“UNRWA deplores the killing of all children during this conflict, including the killing of the four-year-old Israeli child yesterday and the hundreds of Palestinian children killed since the start of the current fighting,” the agency said in a statement. “We call on all parties to ensure protection and care of children affected by armed conflict, in accordance with their obligations under international law.”

Also on Saturday, Al Aqsa, a TV station run by Hamas, reported that Israeli gunboats sank a Palestinian fishing vessel off the Port of Gaza.




6 responses to “Hamas urges Palestinian leadership to seek ICC justice”

  1. MekensehParty Avatar

    What will Hamas do with its “heroes” once it joins the ICC?
    What about the leaders and commanders who order strikes on all targets, civilian and military?
    Or are they asking for a one sided justice?
    What about the 18 Palestinians executed publicly yesterday after a 15 minutes trial. Are these killings part of what the ICC can investigate?

  2. $89733098 Avatar

    Whatever happened to closing down tel aviv airport? Hollow threats obviously. Hamas should pack up and move to Tehran.

  3. master09 Avatar

    200k in Syria no comment, Christians killed by the thousands no comment. Palestinians 2000 dead, lets kill the Jews. Wow.

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