Gaza, 13 Jumadil Akhir 1436/2 April 2015 (MINA) – Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said the Palestinian Authority (PA) official joining of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a full member is the first step toward lifting the immunity on Israel.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hamas said this constitutes the first move by the international community to isolate Israel and prosecute it for war crimes against the Palestinian people, land, and sacred shrines, The Palestinian Information Center (PIC) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Hamas emphasized that this move requires the ICC Secretary General to start investigation into Israeli various crimes. Hamas called on the Palestinian families of victims of the Israeli practices to cooperate with the human rights institutions along with the NGOs to file lawsuits against the Israeli leaders.
It also demanded the PA to shoulder its official responsibilities and to work hard in prosecuting Israel for all issues including the Separation Wall, the successive wars on Gaza, and the aggressive practices against prisoners, Jerusalem, and holy sites, in addition to settlement building and others.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Legislative Council First Deputy Speaker Dr. Ahmad Bahar said, in a press release on Wednesday, the PA joining of the ICC is a victory for the victim and an advanced move toward halting the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
Dr. Bahar called on the ICC Attorney General Fatou Bensouda to open an investigation into the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and the West Bank. He warned of any political intervention in the work of the ICC when opening war crime investigation against Israel.
The PA officially joined the ICC at The Hague on Wednesday; a step that means starting probes into Israeli crimes. Joining the ICC constitutes a new step within a diplomatic and prosecution campaign launched by the PA in 2014.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat considered Wednesday, April 1, the day in which Palestine is announced official member of ICC, as a national, historic day in the life of the Palestinian people.
In mid January 2015, the ICC announced opening of a preliminary probe which is a phase that precedes opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes during last summer’s war in Gaza. The international community established the ICC in July, 2002 for the sake of deterring war crimes against humanity as well as genocides by holding accountable all those who commit such crimes.
The preamble of the Rome Statue points to the intention of the member states to put an end to the impunity of perpetrators of war crimes from prosecution and therefore contribute to prevent such crimes. (T/P011/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)