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Legal Experts Question International Court’s Authority to Intervene on 2014 Gaza War – Asaf Golan (NRG via Daily Alert)

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May 15, 2015

Legal Experts Question International Court’s Authority to Intervene on 2014 Gaza War – Asaf Golan (NRG-Hebrew, 13 May 2015)

  • The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, asked Israel on Wednesday to respond to Palestinian charges that it committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war. In response, Israel said that the Palestinian Authority is not a state (a stance also taken by the U.S. and other countries) and therefore has no standing at the ICC.
  • Prof. Avi Bell of the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University responded, “I would recommend to Israel not to respond to the prosecutor’s request, but rather to answer that this is not within the court’s authority….The prosecutor does not have a shred of evidence against Israel, and she herself will close the case.”
  • “There have been previous cases like this even when war crimes were indeed committed, unlike in our case, for example with Sudan. There was indeed genocide and war crimes, but despite the ICC prosecutor’s investigation, she closed the case and stopped the investigation because there was no cooperation and she had no information.”
  • “All the testimonies that the Palestinians and other organizations have collected are far beneath the minimum standard of evidence for crimes. There is nothing here. This is in addition to the reality that Israel is a normal state that investigates itself, a factor which in itself prevents the court from investigating what occurs in Israel.”
  • “The second that you provide material, you enable the prosecutor to find in it whatever she wants and to interpret the situation in the way that she wishes, and I would not depend on the good faith of such an international body with its own agenda.”
  • Dr. Sigall Horovitz, an international law expert who worked as legal adviser to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, believes that “in the current case of the 2014 Gaza war, the court has no jurisdiction with regard to Israel because Israel itself investigates any crimes that were committed, if they were committed. Israel checks every act and every claim, and therefore the court has no excuse to become involved.”
  • “At the end of the day, without any connection to the stance of the prosecutor of the court, Israel can easily prove that its justice system performs its task in a truthful manner, and there is no room or authority for the ICC to intervene.”
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