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Gaza City - Abbas Mulls War Crime Charges Against Israel

Published on: July 31, 2014 03:00 PM
By: AP
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A Palestinian girl who fled an Israeli ground offensive and air strikes, stands near makeshift tents in the garden of the Shifa hospital in Gaza City July 31, 2014. A Palestinian girl who fled an Israeli ground offensive and air strikes, stands near makeshift tents in the garden of the Shifa hospital in Gaza City July 31, 2014.

Gaza City - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking written pledges of support from all political factions, including rival Hamas, before making any attempt to press for possible war crimes charges against Israel, senior officials said Thursday.

Abbas hesitated in the past because such a step would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could put him on a collision course with the United States.

But with nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza in the past 24 days, according to health officials, Abbas is under growing domestic pressure to turn to the International Criminal Court to try to make a case against Israel.

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Israeli officials have said Israel is acting in self-defense by targeting Hamas’ military arsenal and rocking launching sites and have accused Hamas of using Gaza civilians as human shields.

With the Palestinian casualties in Gaza mounting, leaders of political factions in the West Bank have repeatedly urged Abbas to seek Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court.

“We have been pressing him for a long time,” independent legislator Mustafa Barghouti said Thursday.

At a meeting with political leaders on Tuesday, Abbas asked participants to sign a declaration of support for such a move, said Barghouti, adding that everyone signed.

The final decision, on when to seek accession, would still be up to Abbas, according to other participants who spoke on condition of anonymity because there were discussing internal deliberation.

They said Abbas also told them he would not move forward without written consent from Hamas and Islamic Jihad because they could expose themselves to possible war crimes charges.

Abbas’ Fatah movement wrote on its official Facebook page that Abbas is seeking broad consensus, in part because of the potential repercussions for Hamas.

“Regarding the question a large number of brothers and sisters, ‘why dont you go to the International Criminal Court,’ the leadership of the State of Palestine will sign the Rome Statute all the way to the International Criminal Court after ... the approval of all the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, because this option is a double-edged sword,” Fatah wrote.

Hamas officials in Gaza were not immediately available for comment.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 31, 2014 at 03:26 PM 5TResident Says:

He'll never do it. It will open the floodgates on countercharges against the PA and Hamas, of which he is allegedly the President.

2

 Jul 31, 2014 at 04:00 PM Boochie Says:

He knows he can't do it because he would be shooting himself in the foot

3

 Jul 31, 2014 at 04:35 PM Anonymous Says:

For all the delusional idiots who think abbas is any more moderate or different than
hamas.... Shimon Peres, for example, is one who still can't admit the huge mistake it was to ever accept him as a "partner for peace."
"Regarding the question a large number of brothers and sisters, ‘why dont you go to the International Criminal Court,’ the leadership of the State of Palestine will sign the Rome Statute all the way to the International Criminal Court after ... the approval of all the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad"

4

 Jul 31, 2014 at 04:42 PM DanielT Says:

does anyone know how many civilians Fatah killed when they fought with Hamas?

5

 Jul 31, 2014 at 04:50 PM Anonymous Says:

In attacking legitimate military targets lodged among civilians, international law places full responsibility for any civilian deaths on the fighters who've embedded themselves. (The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict, Cambridge University Press, 2004)

6

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:10 PM Liepa Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

In attacking legitimate military targets lodged among civilians, international law places full responsibility for any civilian deaths on the fighters who've embedded themselves. (The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict, Cambridge University Press, 2004)

In that case the more they do the more they'll incriminate themselves!
Thanks for sharing.

7

 Jul 31, 2014 at 10:29 PM curious Says:

If Hamas and IJ agree it would become painfully obvious that the UN is in their pocket.

8

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