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Truth and justice from The Hague

December 24, 2019 at 1:15 pm

When the Senior Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced the intention to open an investigation into possible war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Trump administration did not hesitate to be critical. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was clearly against the ICC and its decision. He challenged the statutory eligibility of the Palestinians, pledging in the name of his administration, and on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel, not to cooperate with the investigation, refusing to allow any American or Israeli officials to appear in front of the court.

It was natural for Netanyahu to be angry, as the ICC decision was not only a surprise to him, but also came at the wrong time; he is personally facing corruption and other charges in Israel. His reaction was thus hysterical, accusing the court of turning into a political weapon against Israel which targets “the right of its people in the homeland of their ancestors”. He preferred to go into detail about things that were not mentioned in the prosecutor’s announcement rather than what was mentioned, especially when she expressed her satisfaction about the existence of a reasonable basis to continue the investigation into the situation in Palestine.

The decision by the ICC — based in The Hague in the Netherlands — regardless of how the court will put it into effect, restores the issue of the Palestinians as a liberation struggle against a brutal, racist and discriminatory occupation. It is an occupation with a hideous history of expelling Palestinians from their homes and villages, destroying their homes unlawfully, crowding them into cantons and ghettos, and throwing hundreds of thousands of them into prison. Israel’s actions affect children, men, women and the elderly, as well as democratically-elected political leaders, and activists from civil society and popular and youth movements.

Reports: Israel considers denying entry of ICC investigators in response to war crimes probe

The massacres committed by Israel in its wars and repeated hostilities against the Palestinians in Gaza, and before that in the West Bank and Jerusalem, should not go unnoticed. They were never isolated incidents or new crimes.

Massacres are a founding concept of the Zionist movement, and without dozens of them the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians would not have been possible. Despite what Zionist propaganda claims, the Palestinians did not leave their homes voluntarily; they left because of the massacres, collective punishments and systematic expulsions that were, and still are, committed by the Zionist state as a matter of policy to this day.

Why do the United States and Israel fear the ICC investigation if they have nothing to hide? The answer is simple: they realise that US weapons have been used by Israelis against Palestinians, and they know how many serious crimes, massacres and violations of international law have been committed.

Only murderers fear investigation of their crimes; innocent people do not fear the law, courts or investigation, especially by such a high-level international body, which cannot seriously be accused of politicising the issue or taking the side of the Palestinians against Israel.

PA slams Netanyahu’s attacks on ICC

Washington not only supports Israel financially and politically, but also backs its practices in the occupied territories that amount to war crimes, encourages its settlement practices and offers it gifts and prizes that belong to the Palestinians.

The US administration seeks to defend murderers and racists, and pledges to disrupt international justice and law. Anyone who aids and abets a criminal or obstructs the course of justice is a partner in the crime, so what about those who provide free of charge the weapons used by Israel to commit its crimes? They are mainly US made, if not exclusively so.

As for the Palestinians, they must prepare their files and evidence, and fill the court with a solid flow of cases. Each Palestinian house has a story to tell, and each freedom fighter who fought for the independence of the Palestinian people has a case that he needs to record in the archives of international justice.

Translated from Alwatanvoice, 22 December 2019

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.