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Palestinians to take Israeli settlements to the ICC following announcement of 450 new units

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Palestinians to take Israel settlements to ICC
Middle East Monitor 1 Feb —  The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday said that it will respond to Israel’s continued expansion of illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories by referring the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). “Israel’s aggression on the Palestinian people and the Palestinian state has crossed all the red lines and the situation is nearing a complete implosion,” the ministry said in a statement. The decision came in response to Israel’s announcement of tenders to erect 450 new illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “This is a blatant challenge to the international community and defiance of the international condemnation to crimes of the Israeli occupation,” it said. The ministry added that the settlement expansion comes “amid the Israeli election, as Israeli right-wing politicians take advantage of the situation to confiscate more land expand illegal settlements.” “It also comes after the Palestine signed the Rome Statute, which confirms Israel’s arrogance and defiance to the rules and provisions of international law,” the ministry added. “This leads [us] to ask the ICC to look into the issue of settlement expansion as a full case, as soon as the membership of the State of Palestine comes into effect in April.”

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Arrests — West Bank / Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers shoot, kill Palestinian youth south of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — Israeli forces shot and killed a young Palestinian man and injured another near Nablus late Saturday, local sources said. Locals said Israeli troops opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths after they threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli setter vehicles driving on a bypass road near the village of Burin south of Nablus. Ahmed Ibrahim Jaber al-Najjar, 19, was killed and another Palestinian was lightly injured. A large number of Israeli troops rushed to the area following the shootings. An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma‘an that a group of Palestinians hurled Molotovs at “a civilian road” in the area. Soldiers responded by shooting live fire at the Palestinians’ “lower extremities,” she said. The spokeswoman said two hits were confirmed — one Palestinian was hit in the leg and another was hit [in the neck] and injured. Reports of the second Palestinian’s death “are being reviewed,” she said. “An investigation will be opened into the incident.”

IDF says army fire killed Palestinian about to throw firebomb
Haaretz 31 Jan by Gili Cohen — A Palestinian man was killed and another wounded by Israeli army fire near an Israeli outpost in the West Bank on Saturday, the Palestinians reported. According to the Israel Defense Forces, a Golani Brigade unit was laying in ambush near the Havat Gilad outpost west of Nablus when it spotted two Palestinians about to throw a firebomb at a nearby road. The unit opened fire, which appears to have killed one Palestinian and wounded another, the army said. Medical sources said that the Palestinian was hit by a live bullet in the throat and died at the scene, while the other was only lightly wounded. Palestinian officials said the fatality was 18-year-old Ahmad Najar, according to the Associated Press reported. The Israeli army said the incident is under investigation. Following the incident, Palestinians amassed in the area, and Israeli army reinforcements arrived at the scene.

Thousands march in funeral of young Palestinian near Nablus
[with photos] NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Thousands on Sunday laid to rest a young Palestinian man who was shot and killed by Israeli forces near Burin south of Nablus the night before, a Ma’an reporter said. The mourners marched as the body of 19-year-old Ahmad al-Najjar was carried from the Burin mosque through the streets to the town cemetery. Funeral-goers waved Palestinian flags, Fatah flags, and flags of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, urging Palestinian factions to take revenge for al-Najjar’s death. “We are going to Jerusalem in millions,” some chanted. Late Saturday, locals told Ma‘an that Israeli troops opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths after they threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli settler vehicles driving on a bypass road near Burin. Al-Najjar, 19, was shot in the neck and killed and another Palestinian was lightly injured.

PHOTOS: Hundreds mourn Palestinian teen shot by Israeli army
Activestills 1 Feb Photos and text: Ahmad al-Bazz — Hundreds of Palestinians participated today in the funeral of 19-year-old Ahmed Najjar, who was shot to death by the Israeli army on Saturday outside village of Burin, near Nablus. The army claimed that Najjar was about to throw a molotov cocktail at passing vehicles near the village. Medical sources said Najjar was hit by a live bullet in the throat and died at the scene, while another Palestinian was lightly wounded. According to the army, the incident is currently under investigation. The army also arrested two Palestinian youths from the village following the incident, Abdulrahman Najjar, 17, and Mohammed Asouss. [So, was Najjar ‘about to throw’ a molotov or was he shot after he threw one, as the two Ma‘an articles claim?]

Israeli troops arrest 2 Palestinians near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli forces on Saturday evening detained two young Palestinian men in the Nablus district of the northern West Bank, according to Palestinian security sources. The sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces stormed the village of Burin and apprehended 17-year-old Abd al-Rahman Dawood Salih. The raid came only hours after Israeli soldiers shot dead a young man named Ahmed Ibrahim Jaber al-Najjar, 19, in the village. The sources said that the teen arrested Saturday evening in the village was a relative of al-Najjar.
Separately, Israeli soldiers arrested Ibrahim Shawahna from the Nablus area at a flying checkpoint near the village of Deir Sharaf south of Nablus.

Israeli settler runs over B’Tselem photographer in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — A photographer for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem was injured on Sunday after being hit by an Israeli settler vehicle in Hebron, the man told Ma‘an. Raed Jihad Abu Rmeila, 28, told Ma‘an he “suffered from bruises” after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler while walking to work near the Ibrahimi mosque. He was taken to Hebron governmental hospital in moderate condition. Abu Rmeila said he could not determine whether he was hit on purpose or by mistake. He said he was walking on the pedestrian side of the yellow line when he was struck.

Settlers hurl rocks at Palestinian vehicles near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Dozens of Israeli settlers on Saturday evening gathered on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus near the Jewish-only settlement of Beit El and hurled rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles. Witnesses told Ma‘an that several vehicles sustained damages in the attacks. The witnesses said that Israeli soldiers were standing next to the settlers as they attacked the vehicles but did not intervene. The incident came after Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian south of Nablus after a group of youths reportedly threw Molotov cocktails at cars belonging to Israeli settlers on a nearby road. In the wake of the killing, Israeli soldiers deployed widely in the region between Ramallah and Nablus. While Palestinians in the West Bank have white license plates, Jewish settlers [including Israelis of any religion] have yellow plates.

Israeli troops arrest teenager at Ibrahimi Mosque
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli forces on Sunday morning arrested a Palestinian teenager near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron in the southern West Bank, claiming he was carrying a knife. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to the holy place arrested 18-year-old Anan Muhammad Suleiman Abu Salih from the town of Dura, claiming that a knife was in his possession when he tried to enter. The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron is often known in English as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and is divided into a Muslim and a Jewish section with separate checkpoints and entrances.

Israel detained 350 Palestinians in January: NGO
Middle East Monitor 1 Feb — The Israeli army has detained 350 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the course of January 2015, a Palestinian NGO said on Sunday. The West Bank city of Hebron saw the detention of 120 Palestinians last month, the largest number of detainees during January, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a statement. The Israeli army also arrested 60 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, 42 from Ramallah and al-Bireh, 38 from Jenin, 35 from Nablus, 19 from Qalqilya and 19 from Bethlehem, the NGO said. Eight Palestinians from the northern province of Tulkarm were also held by the Israeli army, along with six from the province of Tubas, and three from Tulkarm. Among the detainees were two girls in their 20s, bringing the number of Palestinian females in Israeli prisons to 24, it noted. In December 2014, Israel detained 383 Palestinians, according to the NGO which advocates for Palestinians in Israeli custody. Israeli authorities could not be reached for an immediate comment.

A month in photos: police violence, elections and the holy selfie
Activestills 30 Jan — Editors’ picks of the top photos from Palestine, Israel and beyond for the month of January. This month, terror attacks in France and Tel Aviv, Bedouin citizens of Israel protest against police violence, Israel’s election campaign gets into full swing, Hezbollah attacks the Israeli army on the Lebanese border and snow falls on the West Bank. Photos: Oren Ziv, Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Ahmad al-Bazz, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Tess Schaflan /  Edit: Anka Mirkin, Shiraz Grinbaum /


Israeli soldiers open fire at Palestinian protesters at Gaza border
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinian protesters marching near the border fence in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. A spokesman for the Gaza Committee to Break the Siege, Adham Abu Salmiya, told Ma‘an that march was in protest against the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the Israeli refusal to allow reconstruction materials into Gaza.

Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Feb – Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Monday, damaging a fishing boat. Fishermen told Ma‘an that Israeli boats stationed off the coast northwest of Gaza City opened fire at them while they were inside the designated zone. One boat was damaged by the gunfire but no injuries were reported.

Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishing boat
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — Israeli naval forces on Saturday morning opened fire at Palestinians fishing off the coast of Gaza, in yet the latest attack on residents of the beleaguered coastal enclave. Fishermen told Ma‘an that Israeli gunboats stationed off the coast of the al-Sudaniyya area of northwestern Gaza City opened fire at them. They said that Israeli navy fired warning shots at one fishing boat “despite the fact that it was sailing within the six nautical miles in which Gaza fishermen are allowed to sail.” No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

This report from Al Ray is the source of the IMEMC story also: no other source so far
9yr old boy dies after Egypt & Israel refuse to open Rafah
[with photo] GAZA, Al Ray 1 Feb — Nine year old Palestinian boy Zaid died when Egypt and Israel refused to open the Rafah border to allow him to travel for medical treatment. “The poor boy died with tears rolling down his cheek.” A Palestinian activist wrote on his Facebook page. With Israel’s backing, the Rafah border has been seized by the Military backed Egypt government.

Report: 4 Palestinians who crossed into Israel from Gaza detained
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Feb — Israeli forces on Monday arrested four Palestinians after they crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported. The four men crossed the border fence near the Israeli town of Beeri, east of central Gaza, and were detained by Israeli soldiers. The men were unarmed.

IDF detains 2 armed Palestinians near Gaza border
JTA 30 Jan Feb —  Israeli troops arrested two armed men who allegedly attempted to cross the border from the Gaza Strip to carry out a terrorist attack. The suspects arrested Thursday night were on their way to carry out an attack on civilians or soldiers in a town near the border, security officials told Army Radio, adding that the suspects may also have planned to take hostages. They carried three hand grenades, a knife and a screwdriver.

Homeless Palestinians protest UNRWA aid cuts in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Jan — Palestinians displaced by Israel’s military offensive during the summer on Friday demonstrated outside UNRWA’s Gaza office to protest cuts made by the agency due to a shortfall in donor funding. During a sit-in protest called for by Hamas, the mayor of Beit Hanoun, Muhammad al-Kafarneh, said that “manipulating the Gaza reconstruction process will result in an explosion by those whose homes were destroyed.” The mayor called on Palestinian political parties to exert pressure on the unity government to speed up reconstruction, which has been hindered by continued Israeli restrictions on building materials, a lack of donor funding, and internal discord.  On Tuesday, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the largest service provider in the Gaza Strip, announced that it was forced to stop a cash assistance program for tens of thousands of Palestinians to make repairs to damaged and destroyed homes due to a lack of donor funding.

Dahlan supporters protest over ‘withheld’ pay
Middle East Monitor 1 Feb — Dozens of civil servants supporting sacked Fatah figure Mohamed Dahlan demonstrated Sunday in the Gaza Strip, accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) of having cut off their salaries. Dahlan’s supporters have gathered outside the UN’s headquarters in Gaza City, holding banners featuring slogans such as “my salary is my right” and “Gaza has enough crises.” “Employees are standing up against the policy of intimidation,” Marwa al-Masri, a leading Fatah member, told The Anadolu Agency at the protest. She called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah leader himself, to rescind the decision. A PA official close to Dahlan had told Anadolu Agency last week that 200 pro-Dahlan security personnel had discovered that their names had not been included on the list of civil servants who recently received part of their salaries from Gaza banks. He said that the employees had been excluded due to their support of Dahlan. The Palestinian unity government, unveiled last summer, has yet to comment on the employees’ accusations. However, the West Bank’s security chief Adnan al-Dameiri said last month that a group of security personnel stationed in the Gaza Strip had been fired for violating the security apparatus’ code of conduct and that the sacked employees had been replaced.

Egypt court rules Hamas armed wing ‘terror group’
CAIRO (AFP) 31 Jan — An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, declaring it a “terrorist” group. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, denounced the ruling against the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades as “a dangerous political decision that serves the interests of the occupier,” referring to Israel. Since Egypt’s military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the authorities have accused Hamas of aiding jihadists who have waged a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. Saturday’s court verdict followed a complaint from a lawyer accusing the Hamas armed wing of direct involvement in “terrorist operations” in the Sinai, which borders Gaza, a court official said. The lawyer also accused the movement of using tunnels under the frontier between Egypt and Gaza to smuggle arms used in attacks against the police and army, the official said … There was no immediate response to the court ruling from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades itself, but a Hamas spokesman in Gaza said the armed wing should not be dragged into “Egypt’s internal affairs”.

Source close to Hamas says it no longer accepts Egypt as Israel mediator
GAZA (Reuters) 31 Jan by Nidal al-Mughrabi —  A source close to Hamas’ armed wing signaled on Saturday the group would no longer accept Cairo as a broker between it and Israel, after an Egyptian court banned the Islamist group’s armed wing and listed it as a terrorist organization. “After the court’s decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters,” the source told Reuters. Cairo has played a key role in brokering ceasefires between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip numerous times.

Gaza music school shines in ‘Arabs Got Talent’ spotlight
GAZA (Reuters) 1 Feb by Nidal Al-Mughrabi —  On the hugely popular “Arabs Got Talent” TV show in Beirut last month, five young musicians in chequered black-and-white scarves brought the house down with a traditional Arabic song that left the judges weeping and earned a ticket straight to the finals.  In the Gaza Strip there was much weeping and celebration too, especially at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, where the group, made up of four boys and a girl aged between 12 and 16, learned to play their instruments. For the past three years, Anas an-Najar, a teacher at the conservatory, has dedicated himself to the band, honing their skills on the zither, lute, drum and wooden flute, while the fifth member sings in soaring, lilting melodies.  Because they will perform live on the finals show on Feb. 28, Saudi-owned broadcaster MBC has asked them not to speak to the media. But their success — a YouTube video of their performance has been watched more than 8.7 million times — has drawn the school where they practise into the spotlight. Occupying a single floor of a non-descript building owned by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Tel al-Hawa, a middle class neighbourhood of Gaza city, the conservatory would barely pass notice from the outside.

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

The fraud of Gush Etzion, Israel’s mythological settlement bloc
+972 blog 1 Feb by Hillel Bardin & Dror Etkes — Destroyed by Arab armies during the 1948 War, Gush Etzion was repopulated after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, successive Israeli governments have done everything they can to magnify the mythology of the bloc, while settling Israelis on its privately-owned Palestinian land — … While there was debate in 1967 over whether to settle in the West Bank, the resettlement of Gush Etzion was viewed by many Jews as a special case, which derived from the sentimental value over its fate in the 1948 War. On September 27, 1967, Kfar Etzion became the first Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and was re-established on its 1948 ruins. At this point it became apparent that using the name “Gush Etzion” allowed the public to overcome its general resistance to settling Israelis in the occupied West Bank. This, however, led to the fraud of attaching the name Gush Etzion to areas that had no connection to the original group of settlements – a fraud that was officially endorsed by the Israeli government in 1980, when the military commander of the West Bank officially declared the inauguration of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. From then on, nearly every new settlement between Jerusalem and Hebron was considered to be part of the bloc. The fraud was then blown up on a national scale. Legal arrangements were made in order to allow Israel to declare privately-owned Palestinian land “state land,” which was then turned over to Jewish settlers for development … In this new and artificially-inflated Gush Etzion, thousands of acres at once belonged to the state, and were subsequently used to establish dozens of new settlements around Bethlehem. This crawling land grab continues today. In late 2014, 1,200 acres to both the south and west of Bethlehem were declared “state land” in order to create an Israeli axis that would connect the eastern settlements of Gush Etzion to the Green Line. The expropriation of such a large area is expected to significantly increase the number of Israeli settlers in the area.

Water crisis in East Jerusalem continues
ACRI update 18 Jan — Update: Following the court hearing, the Justices gave the parties 14 days to meet to begin outlining a plan for upgrading water infrastructure in East Jerusalem. The plan must be submitted to the court within 60 days — On Monday, January 19, the High Court of Justice will conduct a follow-up hearing on a legal appeal submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, together with Palestinian residents of Jerusalem neighborhoods behind the separation barrier, that demands the provision of water services. The hearing will take place at 09:00 before Justices Rubenstein, Hendel and Zylbertal. Despite the severe water problems in four Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier, the Water Authority and the Ministry of Infrastructure announced to the court this week that they do not intend to connect the houses in these neighborhoods to the water supply, but will rather increase the flow to the central pipelines. According to estimates provided by the Water Authority and the Ministry of Infrastructure themselves, the planned expansion of the central pipelines will not suffice to meet the needs of the residents. Consequently, tens of thousands of residents will continue to imperil their health and limit their consumption of water by making use of electric pumps and industrial containers.Israeli planning authorities have never conducted urban planning for the neighborhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shahada, Dahyat a-Salam, and the Shu‘afat Refugee Camp, located in North-East Jerusalem and within the city’s municipal boundaries for 48 years. In the absence of municipal plans, residents cannot obtain building permits – a necessary step in connecting properties to the water system. As a result, almost all of the residences in the area are connected to unofficial pipes that connect to rooftop and street-side water tanks and are powered by electric pumps. This set up involves high electricity costs and poses serious health and safety risks.

Israeli forces issue stop-work orders, confiscate tractor near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli forces early Sunday escorted civil administration employees to Beit Ummar near Hebron to deliver stop-work orders, a local spokesman said. Muhammad Ayyad Awad of Beit Ummar’s popular committee told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers handed stop-work orders to Mustafa Eid Nujoom and Arif Mahmoud Nujoom, who had begun building two houses. The Israelis also confiscated an agricultural tractor belonging to local resident Ghazi Fawzi Abu Ayyash. They claimed the tractor was being used to transport construction material for a house that was “being built illegally,” Awad said. Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, although Jewish settlers are frequently given building permits and allowed to expand their homes and properties.

Soldiers demolish agricultural rooms, a well and walls, near Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Feb — Israeli soldiers, accompanied by military bulldozers, invaded on Monday morning the village of Qasra, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus … Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the Israeli Settlements file in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said a number of military bulldozers demolished two agricultural rooms, an irrigation well, and more than 500 meters of stone retaining walls, in the southeastern area of Qasra village.  Daghlas added that the demolished properties were close to the illegal Israeli settlement outpost of Yesh Kodesh, built on Palestinian lands, and that they belong to Anwar and Akram Taiseer. Head of the Qasra Village Council Abdul-Athim al-Wady said the demolished properties are privately owned, built on Palestinian lands, and were funded by France. The army claims the structures were not licensed and approved by the Civil Administration Office, run by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank. On his part, al-Wady said the residents, and the local council, have all official documents and licenses, including the approval of the Civil Administration Office, yet the military went ahead and demolished the properties.

Settlers uproot trees in al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 31 Jan — A group of Jewish settlers uprooted on Saturday olive and almond trees near Yatta town in al-Khalil before fleeing the scene. The coordinator of Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee in Yatta, Ratib al-Jabour, told Quds Press that the settlers came from Ma’oun settlement, which is established on Yatta land. They uprooted trees belonging to a Palestinian family. Jabour pointed out that Yatta inhabitants saw the settlers who were uprooting the trees and chased them.

UN: Israel demolished homes of 1,177 Palestinians in Jerusalem and West Bank in 2014
Haaretz 1 Feb by Amira Hass — Since the beginning of 2015, Israeli authorities destroyed 77 structures, displacing 110 Palestinians — Since the beginning of 2015, the Civil Administration of the Israel Defense Forces has demolished 77 homes, livestock pens, farm buildings and other structures of Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, since they were built without building permits. As a result, 110 people, around half of them children, lost their homes at the height of the winter, according to a report compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Between January 19 and January 26, the Civil Administration demolished 41 structures, OCHA said, far higher than the weekly average for 2014 of nine demolitions per week. In the seven-day period, Civil Administration inspectors delivered 45 construction stop orders and two demolition orders …  The 41 structures demolished by the Civil Administration between January 19 and January 26, according to OCHA, were in Bedouin and other pastoral communities in the area of Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah and Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem. They included buildings that were donated by European humanitarian organizations. Construction stop orders were issued for a park funded by donor nations in the Yatta area and buildings in the Ramallah area and near Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley.

Prisoners / Court actions

Palestinian minors speak of beatings, mistreatment in Israeli custody
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — A lawyer for the Department of Prisoner Affairs visited Palestinian minors in Israeli custody and released a report Saturday on their mistreatment by Israeli forces. Hiba Masalha said in a statement that many of the minors spoke of being assaulted and beaten during their arrests and throughout interrogation. Malek Hamdan, a 16-year-old Palestinian from Jerusalem, was beaten to the point of his bones being fractured while he was held at the Russian Compound detention center, the statement said. Additionally, 17-year-old prisoner Muhammad Abd al-Fattah Radwan, from Qalqiliya, told Masalha that during his detention, he was assaulted and dragged for a long distance while handcuffed and blindfolded. Radwan was held at the al-Jalama detention center for 15 days. He was interrogated for several hours each day while tied to a small chair.  The teen said he was held in a small, filthy, cold room with the lights kept on all day and all night. Another prisoner, 16-year-old Muhammad Yousef Ikhleil from Hebron, was detained on Nov. 1 while he was on his way home from school. He is currently being held in HaSharon prison. Ikhleil said he was shot with a live bullet in the thigh, and while he was being detained, he lost a lot of blood as Israeli soldiers beat him.  He was moved to the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for treatment, where he was kept in the ICU for three days and underwent a bone surgery for his thigh injury. Ikhleil said he was interrogated for an hour while at the hospital, and that he was shackled to the bed for 24 hours while guards watched him.

Nine Palestinians placed under Israeli administrative detention
IMEMC/Agencies 1 Feb — Israel’s Ofer military court, on Sunday, issued administrative detention orders for nine additional prisoners, the Palestinian Prisoners Society stated. WAFA reports that PPS Lawyer Mahmoud Halabi said the court sentenced Yasin Abu Lafah, Kayed Abu Rish, and Mohammed Obaid to six months under administrative detention (without charge or trial). Meanwhile, the remaining six received administrative detention orders for three to four months. They were identified as Mohammed Asi, Suhaib Mre’e, Mahmoud Ayyash, Omar Talahmeh, Osama Shalabi and Tha’er Abu Aliya. Some of the nine prisoners have had their orders renewed multiple times. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, “Approximately 360 Palestinians are currently placed under administrative detention, distributed in various Israeli detention centers.”

Israeli-Arab who joined Islamic State seriously hurt in coalition airstrike
Ynet 1 Feb by Yoav Zitun & Hassan Shaalan — Maharan Yussuf Khaladi underwent training and fought in 5 battles, he was wounded during a battle in Fallujah; he was arrested upon his return to Israel — An Israeli Arab who joined the Islamic State and was seriously wounded in Iraq in a coalition airstrike was indicted at the Nazareth District Court on Sunday.  Maharan Yussuf Khaladi, 19, from Nazareth, was arrested upon his return to Israel in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and Israel Police on January 10 at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Khaladi said in his investigation that he left for Turkey last year after being exposed to Islamic State content on the internet and contacting an IS operative on Facebook. He crossed the border into Syria in October 2014 aided by an IS smuggler and headed to a reception and sorting base there, where he met three other Israeli Arabs from Yafa an-Naseriyye: Muhammad Maruan Kilani, Muhammad Sabr Kananeh and Hamza Sami Sari Magamseh, the last of which has since returned to Israel and charged with contacting a foreign agent, membership in an illegal organization, conspiracy to commit a crime and illegal exit … Khaladi, his attorney said, “regrets going there. The fact he returned and crossed the border and paid off smugglers to return says it all.”   Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Khalidi’s case is “another evidence to the dangerous radicalization Israeli Arabs go through, a radicalization that originates in incitement by the leaders of the sectors.” He noted that “the state of Israel must deal with the issue thoroughly and without compromise, starting with the incitement in mosques and by MKs.”,7340,L-4621484,00.html

Palestinian refugees in/from Syria

Violence prevents food aid to Yarmouk, where refugees live on one meal per day
EI 31 Jan by Maureen Clare Murphy — Yarmouk residents now suffer from chronic malnutrition, dehydration and severe vitamin and protein deficiencies, according to the UN agency for Palestine refugees — As the war in Syria approaches its fifth year, a United Nations agency warned today that it has been unable to successfully deliver aid to Yarmouk camp near the capital of Damascus since 6 December. “Yarmouk and its surrounding areas have seen a serious escalation in armed conflict, including frequent sniper activity, gunfire and the use of heavy weapons, which have persistently disrupted the distribution of life-saving humanitarian aid to the 18,000 civilians trapped in the area,” Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, stated. Yarmouk was once the largest population center of Palestinians in Syria. Before the violent upheaval in the country, the camp’s residents “comprised some 180,000 Palestinian refugees and several hundred thousand Syrian nationals,” according to Amnesty International. Yarmouk has been under siege by Syrian government forces since December 2012 after armed rebels entered the camp. Dozens died from starvation there after government forces “began to prevent all access to Yarmouk” in July 2013, states Amnesty. Residents have not had reliable electricity since then, as the main supply was cut, according to UNRWA. Most Palestinians in Syria are refugees from the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine and their descendants, as well as those displaced after the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967. Israel refuses to respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land and property. There were approximately 520,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria before the outbreak of the violence in early 2011, “some living in refugee camps and others in Syrian towns and cities, where they enjoyed many of the same rights as Syrian citizens, including access to government services,” as Human Rights Watch recently described. – 400 calories per day – Conditions have dramatically turned for the worse in recent years, particularly in Yarmouk. Last year UNRWA was able to distribute the “equivalent to only 400 calories per resident per day, drastically short of the World Food Programme recommended daily amount of 2,100 calories for civilians in crisis zones.” … A VIDEO published by UNRWA today shows how residents have dug into Yarmouk’s streets to collect untreated ground water: …  This VIDEO published by UNRWA today shows a family burning clothes to stay warm:

Palestinian refugees in Cyprus reach agreement with govt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — The Palestinian community in Cyprus has reached a final agreement with the Cypriot authorities, ending a stalemate for Palestinian refugees who fled to the country from war-torn Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, a representative of the community said in a statement Sunday.  Nicola Khattab told the diaspora department of the PLO that an agreement was reached that will secure a decent life for Palestinian refugees who fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. The Cypriot government will allow the refugees to stay in a sheltering camp near the capital city of Nicosia, where they have been staying, until Tuesday. On Tuesday, the refugees will be moved to more permanent residences. They will then be allowed to submit applications for asylum in order to move freely about the country, the statement said. The agreement was preceded by a series of visits by Palestinian Authority officials to Cyprus to try and work out a solution.

Other news

PCHR weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the oPt (22-28 January 2015)
PCHR-Gaza 1 Feb — Shootings: During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including a child and 2 photojournalists, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Nine of these civilians, including a child, were wounded in the West Bank, and the 10th one was wounded in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, a Palestinian farmer was beaten up by settlers, south of Bethlehem, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces continued to chase and fire at Palestinian fishing boats … Incursions: During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 28 Palestinians, including 14 children and 2 women. Eleven of these Palestinians, including 5 children and 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem…. [Full Report with copious details on these and other violations]

African leaders to court: Drop cases against top Africans
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) 1 Feb by Elias Meseret The International Criminal Court should drop or suspend charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto until African concerns about the court and proposals to change its founding treaty are considered, African leaders say. The demand came in a report Saturday on previous decisions made by African Union leaders. The African Union has accused the ICC of disproportionately targeting Africans. The court has indicted only Africans so far, although half of the eight cases it is prosecuting were referred to it by African governments themselves. Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang have been charged with crimes against humanity for their alleged role in orchestrating Kenya’s 2007-08 postelection violence. Their trial is underway at the ICC. More than 1,000 people died and 600,000 others were forced to flee their homes amid violence sparked by a flawed presidential election.

Hamdallah: Portion of PA salaries to be paid ‘soon’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Sunday that a portion of governmental employees’ salaries would be provided “soon.” ‘The Israelis are freezing the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenue money for the second month running, which amounts to over 40 million shekels ($10.2 million),” Hamdallah said in a speech at a ceremony in Yatta south of Hebron. He said despite Israel’s actions the PA would try to provide employees with as much cash as possible from local resources. Hamdallah called on the employees to be patient, stressing that this was the first time the PA had been late paying salaries in 19 months. Israel withheld tax revenues it collects for the PA — as agreed upon in earlier negotiations — in response to Palestine’s move to join the International Criminal Court in late December.

PA forces raid apartment building of former intel chief
NABLUS (Ma‘an) UPDATED 2 Feb — Palestinian security forces carried out household raids in Nablus and the nearby Balata refugee camp on Sunday, including the building of the Palestinian Authority’s former general intelligence chief, sources told Ma‘an. amal Tirawi, now a Fatah-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that PA forces stormed several houses including his brother’s apartment, who lives in the same building. He told Ma‘an that security officers tried to break into his apartment in Balata refugee camp at 4 a.m. The apartment is located in a building owned by his family. “The security officers asked to inspect my apartment after they entered all the apartments, where my brothers live on the upper floors. When I told them that my apartment enjoys immunity (from PA raids), they asked to inspect the apartment of my brother who lives next door.” Tirawi told Ma‘an that he intends to sue the governor of Nablus and the security services in the city. Security sources told Ma‘an that the forces who inspected Tirawi’s house were looking for one of his relatives who they thought he was hiding there. They said they arrested five “fugitives” in Balata refugee camp and in Nablus. The crackdown will continue until all fugitives in the Nablus area are arrested, they added. PA security forces often conduct late-night raids in the homes of Palestinians across the West Bank, sometimes in conjunction with “security coordination” with Israel.

Britons like Israel better only than North Korea, poll finds
Haaretz 1 Feb — Some 35 percent of Britons name Israel as their least favorite non-European country, a worse score than Iran’s — British citizens think worse of Israel than they do about any other non-European country except for North Korea, a British survey published this week found. Answering the question “Which of the following do you feel especially unfavorable toward?” 35 percent named Israel – scoring two points worse than Iran, the poll found. With 47 percent, North Korea won the worst score, the Chathan House-YouGov poll found. Israel’s score, a rise of 18 points since the last poll was published in 2012, may have been due to last summer’s war between Israel and Gaza and the civilian death toll it exacted from the Palestinians, the report posited.

CIA, Israel plotted senior Hezbollah commander’s killing: report
Washington (AFP) 31 Jan — The CIA and Israel’s spy agency Mossad were behind an elaborate plot to kill Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh in a 2008 car bomb attack in Syria, the Washington Post reported. Citing former intelligence officials, the newspaper reported that US and Israeli spy agencies worked together to target Mughniyeh on February 12, 2008 as he left a restaurant in the Syrian capital Damascus. He was killed instantly by a car bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of a parked car, which exploded shrapnel in a tight radius, the Post said. The bomb, built by the United States and tested in the state of North Carolina, was triggered remotely by Mossad agents in Tel Aviv who were in communication with Central Intelligence Agency operatives on the ground in Damascus. “The way it was set up, the US could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” a former US intelligence official told the newspaper. A senior Hezbollah commander, Mughniyeh was suspected of masterminding the abduction of Western hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s and of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina that killed 29 people. He was also linked to the bombing of the US marine barracks at Beirut airport in 1983, in which 241 American servicemen died, and the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985, in which a US navy diver was killed. The CIA declined to comment to the Post about the report.According the newspaper, the authority to kill required a presidential finding by George W Bush.

Israel buries soldiers, says Hezbollah doesn’t want conflict
JERUSALEM (AFP) 30 Jan — Israel on Thursday buried two soldiers killed in a Hezbollah missile strike that triggered Israeli fire on southern Lebanon, raising tensions between the bitter enemies to their highest in years. But the Israeli-Lebanese border was calm, as officials in the Jewish state played down the threat of a new war with Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shiite militant group. In a rare such declaration, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Hezbollah had passed on a message through the United Nations peacekeeping mission in south Lebanon, UNIFIL, saying it did not want a further escalation. “We have received a message… that, from their point of view, the incident is over,” he told public radio. Analysts say neither side seems keen for a repeat of the devastating Israel-Hezbollah conflict of 2006 and that any response is likely to be limited. The two soldiers were killed Wednesday when Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at a convoy in an Israeli-occupied area on the border with Lebanon … Israeli forces responded to the attack — which came in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Golan Heights that killed senior Hezbollah members — with artillery, tank and air fire on several villages in southern Lebanon. There were no reports of Lebanese casualties, but a 36-year-old Spanish peacekeeper with UNIFIL was killed in the exchange of fire.

WATCH: Footage shows IDF fire that killed Spanish UN soldier in Lebanon
Haaretz 1 Feb — Spanish soldiers in the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon filmed the exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah that killed a member of their unit on Wednesday. The video captures the minutes before the exchange of fire as well as the artillery fire which is believed to have killed the Spanish soldier, Francisco Javier Soria Toledo. On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, and the two agreed to hold a joint investigation into the soldier’s death. [Readers who can’t access Haaretz can find the video here]

Hezbollah: We don’t want war with Israel but do not fear it
BEIRUT (Reuters) 30 Jan by Tom Perry & Laila Bassam — The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Friday his group did not want war with Israel but was ready for one, and reserved the right to respond to Israeli attacks any time, anywhere.  “We do not want a war but we are not afraid of it and we must distinguish between the two, and the Israelis must also understand this very well,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said.  Nasrallah was speaking at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syria on Jan. 18. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah hit back on Wednesday with a rocket attack that killed two Israeli soldiers on the frontier with Lebanon.  The violence has raised tensions between Israel and Hezbollah to their highest point since they fought a 34-day war in 2006, but both sides have appeared to back away from further escalation.

Outrage as Republican lawmaker in Texas makes Muslims pledge allegiance before Israeli flag (IMAGES)
Addicting Info 30 Jan by Kerry-Anne Mendoza — A Republican lawmaker in the Texas House of Representatives has caused outrage for her treatment of Muslim visitors to the State House on Muslim Capitol Day on Thursday. It was supposed to be a day to bring people together. The event, organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, “is an opportunity for community members to learn about the democratic political process and how to be an advocate for important issues,” according to CAIR’s website. But attendees had to make their way past a small but vocal band of anti-Islamic protesters hijacking the event to protest all things Muslim. [Photo: the protesters shouting ‘Go home!” and “Mohammad is dead!”] Once they’d navigated their way past that bigoted hollering, even greater levels of bigotry awaited them. In a self-professed attempt to intimidate, their elected representative Molly White draped an Israeli flag over her desk and called for visiting Muslims to pledge allegiance to America before it. Just hours before, White posted a similar anti-Muslim message on her Facebook page: “Remember, in the Koran, it is ok to lie for the purpose of advancing Islam. Texans must never allow fringe groups of people to come here so that they can advance their own culture instead of becoming an American and assimilating into the American way of life.” Facebook users responded with anger and humor to the post. Some were kind enough to give the lawmaker an education in geography. (listserv) (archive)


American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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52 Responses

  1. amigo on February 2, 2015, 12:09 pm

    Good news .Now is the time to hit Israel hard given the elections and the bad blood between Obama and Nietanyahu and the release of two UN investigations of Israeli brutality and war crimes.

    Give it to them full blast and keep them busy running propaganda campaigns and phoning world leaders trying to gain support.

    Anyone taking bets Israel will top next years list of nations viewed by Europeans as the least trusted and liked.When does the annual BBC poll on the same matter come out.Will Israel finally unseat Iran from second place.

    • American on February 2, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Already been done. Imagine what the % of anti israel would be without their constant lies and propaganda.–but-north-korea-beats-them-both-as-most-maligned-nation-10016643.htm


      ”Britons dislike Israel more than Iran, new research suggests, following a surge in negative attitudes towards the country over the past two years, but North Korea is the most maligned nation outside of Europe.
      In a survey conducted by think tank Chatham House on public attitudes towards other countries, 35 per cent of Britons said they felt “especially unfavourably” towards Israel, an increase of 18 per cent since 2012, while people’s unfavourable feelings towards Iran dropped from 45 per cent to 33 per cent.

      North Korea beat them both however, with 47 per cent of Britons feeling “especially unfavourable” towards the nation led by Kim Jong-un.

      The research, entitled ‘Internationalism or Isolationism? British attitudes towards the UK’s international priorities’ classed the top five least favourable nations as North Korea, Israel, Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria.

      The results come at a time when there has been an increase in overt negativity towards Israel and the country’s president Benjamin Netanyahu.
      CNN’s international correspondent quit his long-standing job on the network after he appeared to suggest that “Israeli propaganda” had played a hand in the brutal Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, while in the Philippines anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters held up burned images of Netanyahu and the Israeli flag with the message “Zionist conspiracy”.

      • amigo on February 3, 2015, 12:05 pm

        American , I meant to write , ” when will Israel go to the top of the list and unseat all other pretenders to the throne.

    • Walid on February 2, 2015, 4:54 pm

      Some of the support this cold-blooded reptile is getting is coming indirectly from the Arabs that keep the PA afloat and thereby ensuring its existence. Israel now withholding a second taxes remittance to the Palestinians of a second $100 million simply because Palestinians knocked on ICC’s door and it’s starting to reduce electricity to the Palestinians by 2 hours a day until the Palestinians pay their owed electricity charges of $450 million to Israel. The monies that Israel is holding back will mean that government-paid employees will only be receiving 60% of their regular salaries. The oil Arabs will surely come to the PA’s rescue to avoid its disintegration, which would spell bad news for Israel.

      • seafoid on February 3, 2015, 3:20 am

        It’s really interesting to look back to 2003 and the Arab League offer of full diplomatic relations in return for a revert to the 1967 borders. The bots thought they could ride it out. not the first time they miscalculated.

        Now the Arab League is more or less dead. That notion of representative political power. None of the reactionary Arab leaders has any popular mandate. And nobody knows what sort of setup will replace it when the dust settles.

        Even if the bots wanted to cut a deal there is nobody on the other side to enforce it. That deal is gone.

        Israel can’t afford to let the PA go. It can’t afford to weaken Jordan either.
        Israel and the Arab despots re on the same side. They want the same things . They can’t have them.

        The IS iterations are strengthening Hezbollah too. They probably have more real battle experience than anyone in the IDF now. Of course Israel has the tech advantage but how ready are Israelis for no holds barred ? They got very upset over 75 soldiers last summer.

        Spin it out another 10 years. What will all mean for Israel? How dumb will today’s Sabra 7 year olds be as 17 year olds?

        One of the most insightful comments on the Gaza war last year came in the FT. Sooner or later a version of IS will roll into Gaza. And that will be the end of Israel’s framing.
        When they start crucifying IDF conscripts.

        Because the logic of violence is only good to Israel when it controls it

      • Walid on February 3, 2015, 6:55 am

        Seafoid, you’re not giving it any credit for at least having sanctioned the West’s destruction of member states Libya and Syria. When the illegitimate vote was being taken to suspend Syria’s membership, Lebanon’s and Algeria’s foreign ministers objected on a point of order (suspensions or evictions need unanimous consent of all members), the president of the assembly in so many other words told the foreign minister of Algeria to sit down and shut up or Algeria would be next. As to the current AL envoy to Libya (something like a Tony Blair or Dennis Ross with special credentials), it’s the former Palestinian foreign minister and nephew of Arafat., Nasser Kidwa.

        You’re also not taking into account the beautiful pageantry whenenever there’s a meeting with all the flags, the tons of decorative flowers at a cost that could probably feed a whole village for a year, and the elegant flowing robes with the gold threads. It’s more colourful and chic than the night of the Oscars.

        As to ISIS and Gaza, I’m surprised with all the pain and misery in Gaza this hasn’t yet happened. Hamas can only go so far with smoke and mirrors.

  2. talknic on February 2, 2015, 12:54 pm

    “IDF says army fire killed Palestinian about to throw firebomb”

    Unlike the stuff Israelis use, it seems the Palestinians have developed a fuel that doesn’t burn Palestinians .

    Think about it. If someone is shot as they’re about to throw a fire bomb …

    … surely they’d set ’emselves on fire.

    • amigo on February 2, 2015, 2:13 pm

      “IDF says army fire killed Palestinian about to throw firebomb”

      Excuse number five in the IDF,S rules of engagement book.

    • Teapot on February 2, 2015, 4:24 pm

      How does this usually go?

      “A Palestinian about to throw a fire bomb… Witnesses?… Okay, so maybe just a Palestinian throwing stones… Video evidence?… Fine, just a Palestinian.”

  3. Walid on February 2, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Jordan’s 3-months long temper tantrum over Israel’s nefarious actions at al Aqsa are officially over and today Jordan’s ambassador to Israel is being asked to return to TA. Happy days between Jordan and Israel are back again.

    • annie on February 2, 2015, 5:00 pm

      hey walid, this is OT. i have a question for you. i recently read a reference to hezbollah attacking syrian forces in west beruit in 87. do you know anything about that? i’m finding it difficult to find info on it other than winep. thank you.

      • Walid on February 3, 2015, 12:59 am

        Hi Annie, the information by WINEP is obviously anti-Hizbullah propaganda that made the Hizbullah of the 1980s much more important than it actually was, but this is what WINEP is there for. Of course over time, Hizbullah grew into the formidable force that it is today but at the time, the Shia heavyweight was the Amal organization with which Hizbullah competed and at times actually fought.

        The 1987 incident you asked about was a small side note that happened during the 1985- 1987 battle of the camps. The Palestinian militias that had been expelled out of the country after Israel’s invasion of Beirut had crept back and set up anew their state within the state in Beirut and especially in the south from where they attacked Israel and the Shia there were bearing the brunt of the Israeli counter-attacks, so the Shia wanted the Palestinians out of their lives. Lebanon was occupied by Israel and Syria that both wanted to wipe out the Palestinian militias, at times working together to do it. Pro and anti-Palestinian militia forces in Lebanon got involved in the fighting with Palestinian militias’ strongholds in the camps that broke out in the spring of 1985. The very strong Shia militia at the time was Amal that sided with Syria, as did the Druze and Christian militias. Amal’s Shia laid siege to the camps while Syria shelled them and turned them to rubble. The Sunni militias took the side of the Palestinians as did the smaller Hizbullah Shia militia. It didn’t take much for Syria to neutralize the Sunni militia and on February 25, 1987, Syria attacked and destroyed the Hizbullah HQ in West Beirut. It was shortly after that date that the battles of the camps ended and Amal loosened its siege over the camps, the Palestinian militias were neutralized and Hizbullah regrouped and set up its new HQ in Dahieh. The following year in 1988, Hizbullah fought fierce battles with Amal for neighbourhoods in Beirut and succeeded in becoming an alternative strong Shia force in Lebanon. Before joining Hizbullah, Sayyed Nasrallah was a member of Amal.

        A couple of years after that, the civil war ended and the deal was to have Syria pull back its troops but the First Gulf War came along and the US desperately needed Arab token participation so Syria joined the US, got a huge loan written off by the US for it and was given an extension by the US to remain in Lebanon. That lease ran out in 2003 when the US passed its Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act (SALSRA) demanding that Syria leave Lebanon, but Syria held on until the assassination of Hariri in 2005 when mostly everybody in Lebanon demonstrated for Syria to get out. Israel was kicked out in 2000 and Syria in 2005 ending 30 years that had included Palestinian, Syrian and Israeli occupation.

      • seafoid on February 3, 2015, 3:00 am


        What did Nasrallah say on Friday ?

        I remember as a kid listening to the news and hearing about the Lebanese civil war and “the mainly Shia Amal militia”

        “Beirut” at the time was a word for complete breakdown.
        Eg “your bedroom looks like Beirut”

        But it’s a wonderful city .
        I must go back again some time.

      • Walid on February 3, 2015, 3:27 am

        Seafoid, he didn’t really say much and it was a bit of a let down as far as I was concerned. Everyone was expecting a super dramatic announcement of some sort but it never happened. In a nutshell, he bragged about the heroics of having pulled it off at Chebaa Farms, of not being at all afraid of the Israeli cobweb, he mocked the Israelis’ paranoia that went on for almost a full week and in a nutshell, said that the rumble over Quneitra is over unless Israel does something in retaliation. He also said he didn’t want a war with Israel but that he’s not afraid of getting into one if necessary. He ended with a threat that if Israel again kills one of its chiefs or tries retaliating against the men who did the Chebaa job, Hizbullah would retaliate. Iranian top brass were in Beirut for the speech and their presence must have surely had an effect of how it was delivered.

        I got the feeling that while he was not at all afraid of Israel, he was holding back possibly because of the warm feelings currently happening between the US and Iran, and that this situation should not to be jeopardized by anything Hizbullah would say or do. Nettanyahu got off relatively easy on his stupid caper.

      • annie on February 3, 2015, 11:55 am

        thank you walid. much appreciated.

    • wondering jew on February 4, 2015, 12:58 pm

      walid- You’re a fan of the captain and tenille? all is forgiven. let’s have a sulha.

      • Walid on February 4, 2015, 4:08 pm

        “walid- You’re a fan of the captain and tenille? all is forgiven. let’s have a sulha.”

        Sorry, Yonah, I liked the song and remembered it for the sarcastic occasion, but I never liked the act of Captain and Tenille. Never understood what the heck he was there for, all the work was done by Tenille. He wore the hat, but he was no captain. Never liked Louis Prima and Keely Smith either, Sonny and Cher or Donny and Marie. The only sound of duos I liked was that of Simon and Garfunkel..

  4. Bornajoo on February 2, 2015, 5:33 pm

    Once you dehumanise a whole race of people you can hunt and shoot them just like animals and use them for target practice. And then you can go home and sleep like a baby after a few beers with your friends.

    I hope something comes from the ICC but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

    Thanks Kate

    • seafoid on February 3, 2015, 3:02 am

      The ICC, the warnings from the EU, international law- these are all checks within the system that help countries stay on a sustainable course.
      But Israel is driven by a much deeper trauma.

      It’s like watching someone you know fall into alcoholism.
      There is no joy in watching anyone self destruct.

      Said where I would stop before I even started
      When I get to one brick then the game I would depart with
      Got to one brick then I looked to the sky like:
      “Sorry God I lied but give me one more try”
      Got the two bricks; new cars, new whips
      But niggas never learn until they end up in the news clip
      The irony of selling drugs is sort of like you using it
      Guess it’s two sides to what substance abuse is
      Can’t stop, won’t stop, addicted to this new shit
      Brand new convertibles, I’m so ruthless
      Front row fight night, see how big my tube is
      Fuck HD, nigga, see how clear my view is?
      (Fallin’) But there’s a price for overdoing it

  5. American on February 2, 2015, 5:53 pm

    I hope this isnt just another bluff by Abbas.

    • seafoid on February 3, 2015, 3:11 am

      Even if it is it isn’t going to make any difference to Israel.
      It’s not like one data point would change the story.

  6. Boomer on February 3, 2015, 5:59 am
    • seafoid on February 3, 2015, 6:51 am

      Antisemitic yada yada.
      the usual crap.
      They think they can use this tactic forever.
      And that americans love them.

      Blowback is really going to hurt

  7. HarryLaw on February 3, 2015, 11:27 am

    Professor William Schabas has resigned from the UN Commission, if he did that under pressure from Israel, [they said he was biased] by resigning wouldn’t he be admitting there might be some truth in the allegation? He must have known the Israelis would attack him, far better to stand your ground and fight on principles. Why hasn’t he done that?

    • Hostage on February 4, 2015, 6:22 am

      Re: He must have known the Israelis would attack him, far better to stand your ground and fight on principles. Why hasn’t he done that?

      The international legal community had already weighed-in and suggested he should recuse himself after the Youtube video emerged in which he said Netanyahu would be his favourite to be in the dock of the ICC. See for example the EJIL Talk! editorial

      The latest kerfluffle is about the fact that Schabas was also paid $1300 by the PLO for an advisory opinion he wrote for them regarding the ICC. He said that he couldn’t continue to serve under a cloud when the Chairman of the Human Rights body that appointed him has asked for a legal opinion to see if his removal from the mission over a conflict of interest is mandatory or not:

      The Commission of Inquiry is at a decisive stage in its work. It has largely completed the task of gathering material and listening to victims and other witnesses, including experts. The work on the drafting of the report is beginning. I believe that it is difficult for the work to continue while a procedure is underway to consider whether the Chair of the Commission should be removed. Normally, a judicial or quasi-judicial body would resolve such a challenge before proceeding further.
      Yet the Commission cannot delay its work as it must produce its report in a matter of weeks. Under the circumstances, and with great regret, I believe the important work of the Commission is best served if I resign with immediate effect.

      • just on February 4, 2015, 6:54 am

        Oh, happy day!

        Hostage is back.

      • bintbiba on February 4, 2015, 7:32 am

        Yaaay !!

        Welcome back Hostage.
        Now if you can convince Shmuel …… our joy will be overflowing!!

        I promise I will pay even more attention …even to the more difficult of your brilliant pieces, Hostage.

      • Kris on February 4, 2015, 11:29 am

        Your comments add so much, it’s wonderful that you’re back, Hostage!

      • talknic on February 4, 2015, 11:42 am

        Hi Hostage,

        hope you’re well


      • RoHa on February 4, 2015, 10:43 pm

        He’s back!

        Everybody’s going to jump for joy!

      • annie on February 4, 2015, 11:08 pm

        AHHHH i just saw this. hostage , omg. please stay awhile! please don’t go. we love you! i love you!

      • Hostage on February 5, 2015, 6:13 am

        Hi to all! I haven’t been completely “off the grid”. I’ve been commenting quite extensively of late on articles about this subject at EJIL and Opinio Juris. e.g.:

        For those who are interested, here’s one where “shmuel” also participated and took on a tag team of settlers:

        I’ve also been busy gathering material about the many discrepancies contained in the legal analysis presented to date by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) with respect to the ICCs so-called inability to exercise jurisdiction over crimes commited in Palestine since July of 2002. Back in September, I told Phil that the only article I’d be interested in writing would call attention to the efforts by the ICC Prosecutors to make the pursuit of justice for Palestinian victims of Israeli operations prior to 29 November 2012 as difficult as possible. Nowadays I’d also like to write a rebuttal to the unhistorical claims, like the ones made in a series of articles and letters to the editor of “Just Security”, raising legal objections to the Secretary General’s acceptance of Palestine’s accesion to the Rome Statute. The authors there have suggested the decision can be disputed and reversed under the provisions of Article 119, because the Secretary General was acting beyond his powers.

        It’s simply ludicrous that the former Prosecutor is now writing editorials there too about the “disputed status” of the Palestinian territories after spending 3 years on an earlier “preliminary evaluation” of hundreds of communications, including the Goldstone report. Most, if not all of them cited the ICJ findings of fact to the contrary, i.e. the territory was under belligerent occupation; the Geneva Conventions and UN Human Rights Conventions apply; the settlements are illegal; and among other things, the Palestinians have also been displaced by the illegal construction of the wall and the associated administrative regime in violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

        There are a number of other bizarre theories being advanced that rely on a sophomoric, almost Peabody and Sherman-like treatment of the actual historical record and the applicable rules of the UN and state practice. From all the indications, the current Prosecutor will continue to make excuses and do little or nothing at all about the situation.

      • annie on February 5, 2015, 7:09 am

        the current Prosecutor will continue to make excuses and do little or nothing at all about the situation.

        hostage, Bensouda ?

        former Prosecutor is now writing editorials there too about the “disputed status” of the Palestinian territories

        the former prosecutor should be put out to pasture!

        where “shmuel” also participated and took on a tag team of settlers: link to –

        oh that sounds fun!

      • CloakAndDagger on February 5, 2015, 11:19 am

        Hostage!!! I am so happy that you are back! This place hasn’t been the same without your extensive knowledge and unique perspective (no offense to others).

        I have learnt so much from you over the years, and for that, I am truly grateful.

        Welcome back!

      • seanmcbride on February 5, 2015, 12:37 pm


        As I’ve mentioned before, you might consider organizing all your documentary resources into a browsable and searchable wiki — a platform that would be much more effective in reaching curious minds all around the world on the Internet than random comments. Mondoweiss might consider developing a similar project for organizing and presenting its scattered documentary resources.

        Much of the most valuable information about the I/P conflict is buried in random and disorganized comments — difficult to retrieve and connect.

        Understanding political situations is all about connecting the dots — uncovering the key patterns and making them easy to grasp.

      • Hostage on February 11, 2015, 9:45 pm

        the current Prosecutor will continue to make excuses and do little or nothing at all about the situation.

        hostage, Bensouda ?

        Yes, she was the Deputy Prosecutor during the first 12 years of the Court’s operation. In other situations, she has issued warnings to perpetrators in press releases on the basis of news reports about possible crimes, e.g. See “Statement by ICC Prosecutor concerning Mali”

        In the case of Palestine, she and her predecessor have remained conspicuously silent about hundreds of reliable reports of crimes and threats. In doing so, the ICC has implicitly given the government of Israel a green light to go on threatening Palestinians with reprisals for merely joining the Court, including acts that are obliviously intended to persecute officials and potential witnesses with the aim of obstructing the administration of justice.

        Several months ago, a former member of the staff of the Office of the Prosecutor spilled the beans to the press and explained that the Prosecutors were trying to “hide behind legal jargon to disguise what is a political decision, to rule out competence and not get involved.” See Hague court under western pressure not to open Gaza war crimes inquiry

        That’s actually grounds for removal from office under the terms of the Statute and the Court’s Rules of Evidence and Procedure. So naturally, Bensouda wrote a blustery denial. See Fatou Bensouda: the truth about the ICC and Gaza

        It continued to employ the same meaningless jargon and even more misstatements of fact concerning (1) the actual content of the UN summary of practice with respect to accessions by members of specialized agencies for treaties that utilize the “all states” formula; and (2) the content of General Assembly resolutions on the subject of Palestinian statehood.

        In that article and in others on the ICC web site the Prosecutors claim that their office spent three years listening to “all the arguments” about Palestinian statehood during an initial evaluation of the 2009 Palestinian Article 12(3) declaration. Oddly enough, they never requested a determination from either the General Assembly, the Secretary General. or their own ICC Assembly of State Parties on the subject. That’s especially puzzling, since the ICC’s “Preliminary Examinations” web page now says that the Office of the Prosecutor “may seek additional information from States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental and non‐governmental organizations and other reliable sources that are deemed appropriate.”

        the former prosecutor should be put out to pasture!

        The same thing applies to the current one. She’s almost spent as much time performing a completely non-committal initial evaluation of the situation in Palestine as some students spend obtaining their law degree. She’s been “evaluating” the situation in Afghanistan for more than a decade now, while ignoring the publication of Bush’s autobiography, the Senate torture report, and the published memoirs of one of the prisoners being illegally detained in Gitmo on the subject of illegal transfer/deportation of hundreds of civilians out of an occupied territory and their torture in US facilities in Afghanistan, Cuba, and elsewhere .

      • annie on February 11, 2015, 10:01 pm

        god how depressing. i will check out all your suggested links. it’s like a brick wall for palestine and the implications are dire, for not just palestine. thank you ~ and really miss you around here.

      • Hostage on February 12, 2015, 3:34 am

        god how depressing. i will check out all your suggested links. it’s like a brick wall for palestine and the implications are dire, for not just palestine.

        You’re not even going to get good news coverage at those sites. For example, the Government of Comoros has some new lawyers and has filed an appeal concerning the Prosecutor’s decision not to proceed with an investigation of the Flotilla Massacre case.

        Other than getting the Prosecutors off their duffs going forward, the biggest issue or hurdle is likely to be the question of retroactive jurisdiction. Some experts, like Judge Kai Ambos are simply against it and think that the question was settled months ago by the decision announced by the Office of the Prosecutor. Other experts, like Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, IDC Herzliya don’t think so, but appear to oppose the idea nonetheless. See the article and comments on “Double Duty at the ICC”

        I think the case for retroactivity with regard to crimes committed in Operation Protective Edge and Operation Pillar of Defense is almost insurmountable on the basis of the vote to admit Palestine as a contracting state party to the UNESCO Constitution aka “full membership”. I think a very good case can also be made for retroactivity with regard to crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead too, based upon the relevant General Assembly resolutions on the particular subject, read in light of: customary law; General Assembly resolutions on the rules that international organizations, like the ICC, should apply to govern their relations with Palestine; the text of resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012; and the Secretary General’s March 2013 follow-up report on the “Status of Palestine in the United Nations”. Unfortunately, a discussion of that material is way too long for the comments section.

        I pointed out to both Ambos and Richemond-Barak that, during the UN press conference on the accession document, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN said they had filed another 12(3) declaration the day before the accession was filed. He said that Palestine had requested retroactivity with regard to jurisdiction over crimes committed during the last war in Gaza and was reserving its right to retroactivity with regard to other crimes too. He made those remarks @7m:06s. The full press conference is here:

        Many commentators on “The Summary of Practice” of the Secretary General make it appear that he had to wait, after the UNESCO vote, until he had received an accession request from the State of Palestine before he could consult the practice of the General Assembly. But that was not the case. The paragraph on treaties open for signature under the “all states” formula says explicitly that there is never any need to consult the practice of the General Assembly in the case of a member of one of the UN specialized agencies. In part, that’s because the Secretary General has had standing instructions from the General Assembly ever since 1949 to dispatch an invitation on his own initiative to new members of the UN specialized agencies requesting that they become state parties to the UN Convention on the Crime of Genocide. See A/RES/368 (IV) 3 December 1949, “Invitations to be addressed to non-member States to become parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”

        Note: The ICC exercises jurisdiction over natural persons concerning the crime of genocide, but the ICJ has jurisdiction for determinations regarding state responsibility. Article 119 of the Rome Statute mentions the fact that disputes over ICC jurisdiction will be decided by the Court, but indicates that disputes between states may have to be settled by the ICJ. Unlike the ICC, declarations accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ are always considered retroactive by default, unless there is an explicit reservation to the contrary. The General Assembly resolution on the current status of Palestine acknowledged its 1988 unilateral declaration of independence and the role of the PLO Executive Committee acting as the “Provisional Government of the State of Palestine” ever since that date. The Secretary General’s follow-up report noted that the State of Palestine (not the PA) already existed and had filed an application for UN membership (a multilateral treaty) in September of 2011. So it’s hard to find very much support in the practice of the UN for the Prosecutors claim that Palestine wasn’t a state until December of 2012.

        FYI, in the aftermath of the UNESCO vote and the announced pull-out of funding by Israel and the United States, the Secretary General seems to have forgotten A/RES/368 (IV) when he said that the Palestinians bid to join UN and its agencies by becoming a state party to its treaties and conventions “is not beneficial for anybody”.

        Here are some links to the articles at Just Security which were mentioned in the Jerusalem Post article and the articles written in response at Opinio Juris:
        Luis Moreno Ocampo

        Alan Dershowitz

        David Lubin:

        Robert Howse

        Yousef N. Zeidan

        Jonathan Somer

        Nimrod Karin
        Letter to Editor

        Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

        Beth Van Schaack

      • Hostage on February 11, 2015, 10:07 pm

        Much of the most valuable information about the I/P conflict is buried in random and disorganized comments — difficult to retrieve and connect.

        While I do pride myself on being well read, the information contained in my comments here and elsewhere comes from official documentary records or well known published sources on the subjects of history, international law, or political science. I don’t think of comments made at the European Journal of International Law (EJIL Talk!) website or Opinio Juris as being buried or out of sight.

        I’ve noted in the past that the “Daily News and Analysis” email from the PLO Delegation to the USA routinely calls attention to articles at Mondoweiss. Some of those started out as comments that Phil or Adam decided to publish as standalone articles. Similarly, the former Deputy Legal Advisor to the Israeli UN Delegation complained that the Palestinians seem to be getting tips and useful lines of argumentation from articles at Opinio Juris and elsewhere in the legal blogosphere. The Jerusalem Post highlighted the explosion of articles and comments since Palestine joined the ICC. See “Legal blogosphere erupts over ICC’s inquiry into Gaza war – Arab-Israeli Conflict”

      • Walid on February 11, 2015, 11:02 pm

        Annie, for the Palestinians, it’s worse than hitting a brick wall and more like pissing in the wind. The ICC’s 13 year dismal record as of 2 years back is 1 acquittal and 1 conviction. An abstract from a U of Washington research in 2013 on what to expect from the ICC:

        “… Since the Rome Statute entered into force in 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) has encountered many challenges, undermining its legitimacy and credibility in the international community. This report argues that if the first ten years of the ICC’s existence are any indication of its potential in the long run, these challenges must be confronted over the next few decisive years. This is imperative to ensuring the Court reaches its full potential to bring justice to the most serious crimes of international concern under its jurisdiction. Currently, a lack of efficiency and effectiveness in producing results has led to a serious decline in its perception of legitimacy with the international community. To date, the ICC has produced only two verdicts: one conviction and one acquittal. With this poor track record, comprehensive improvements are essential for improving the Court’s capacity to prosecute crimes that threaten international peace and security.”

        It gets even more depressing when you look at what happened to Lebanon’s attempt of trying to get on board. It seems that the US will not let Lebanon go through with it so it’s highly doubtful it would allow Palestinians to get anywhere close to where they can get Israelis prosecuted for war crimes. From the Daily Star in 2009:

        “… BEIRUT: The US government has demonstrated “intense opposition” to Lebanon joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the move could leave Israel liable to face war crimes accusations dating from the summer 2006 war, justice campaigners said on Wednesday.

        A week after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict, a conference in Beirut heard that Washington was opposed to Lebanon signing an international treaty that would give the court powers to investigate war crimes committed in the country since 2002.

        Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar told The Daily Star on Wednesday that there were no plans to sign the treaty in the near future. “Lebanon has not decided to join the ICC now,” he said. When asked whether this was a result of US pressure, he replied: “Not at all.”

        But delegates at a conference organized by Lebanese pressure group Justice without Frontiers said that the US was opposed to Lebanon signing the treaty because it believes that Israel could be accused of war crimes committed in the country. At least 1,200 Lebanese were killed during the 34-day conflict, which saw intense aerial bombardment of civilian areas.

        William Pace, Convener of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, said that there were several reasons that Lebanon had not signed up. “The reasons we hear from Lebanese officials why they do not accede to the ICC treaty or make use of the ICC as a non-state party are 1) some factions of the government are afraid they will be prosecuted, 2) intense opposition by the USA government to Lebanon acceding to the Rome Statute, 3) fear that the ICC is just another example of international laws controlled by the big powers,” he said.

        Afterward he explained to The Daily Star why he believed the US was opposed to Lebanon signing up to the tribunal. ‘The vulnerability of Israel because of alleged war crimes committed on Lebanese soil is reason enough for the US to oppose Lebanon signing the treaty,’ he said.”

      • Hostage on February 12, 2015, 7:01 am

        It gets even more depressing when you look at what happened to Lebanon’s attempt of trying to get on board.

        The United States did prevent Iraq from joining the ICC when it was literally occupying the country. But short of situations like that one, the USA really has no way to prevent other UN member states from joining the Court over its objections.

        There are undoubtedly other factors at play in the government of Lebanon’s decision not to join the Court. In the case of Palestine, the US has continued, right up until the very last moment (and well beyond), to prevent Palestine from ever joining:

        When the European Union advanced sanctions against the settlements, Kerry tried to block them; when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the UN Security Council, Kerry pressured state leaders not to support the move. When the Palestinians turned to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Kerry made 50 phone calls, to the court’s prosecutor and to foreign ministers across the globe, in an effort to block the move.

        See also “US says Palestinians ineligible to join ICC” That article and the others at EJIL and Just Security indicate to me that there is an orchestrated effort to declare the Palestinian accession null and void.

        I’m not so concerned with the poor performance during the early years of the Court. The member states can always clean house and appoint new judges and prosecutors. Governments loath doing that sort of thing, unless there is a public outcry. The UN and regional groups of states have continued to create and operate many other competing criminal tribunals around the globe. It’s pretty amazing that 121 states, representing a majority of the international community, have joined the ICC and are continuing to amend the Rome Statute, the professional code of conduct, and the rules of evidence and procedure in order to address some of their known shortcomings. Nobody ever thought that a sufficient number of states would ratify the Statute in such a short amount of time in the first place. It entered into force with only 60 members, i.e. for years the majority of states remained non-members for which the Court’s existence was meaningless and didn’t create any rights or obligations. The Drafters were worried about judicial and prosecutorial activism and made it difficult to trigger the Court’s jurisdiction. They envisioned state referrals, but did not foresee that most of them would be self-referrals. The subject simply never came up during the Rome Conference. The Statute envisioned a Court of last resort that would only compliment efforts by the members themselves to prosecute cases in their own Courts. Frankly, the big story ought to be the successful efforts of the US and Israel’s allies to prevent any state from prosecuting an Israeli for any kind of war crime or crime against humanity since 1948. After all, more than 160 countries have laws on the books that grant their own national courts the necessary universal jurisdiction to do that very thing and there have been no shortage of accusations. At least in theory, the number of cases in which there would even be a need for the ICC to intervene ought to be vanishingly small.

      • just on February 12, 2015, 3:44 am
      • just on February 12, 2015, 3:47 am

        Hostage~ thank you.

    • talknic on February 4, 2015, 11:34 am

      @ HarryLaw “Professor William Schabas has resigned from the UN Commission, if he did that under pressure from Israel, [they said he was biased] by resigning wouldn’t he be admitting there might be some truth in the allegation?”

      Best to read his resignation letter

      He’s honorably stepped down and given Israel what it wanted. Israel now wants the whole inquiry shut down showing the world that for Israel more than enough will never be enough.

      • bintbiba on February 5, 2015, 6:42 am

        Hostage !! so glad you’re back.
        And thanks for mentioning Shmuel as well. So good to know you’re both well and active in what you do so eminently well !
        Shall put on my concentrating cap and go back and devour the details of what you wrote.
        Thanks, Hostage.

  8. Walid on February 3, 2015, 1:04 pm

    After chopping off heads and dumping bodies in the river, Israel’s pals at ISIS have surpassed themselves by burning alive the captured Jordanian aviator. Where have we seen that done lately to a young Palestinian lad?

    Jordan announced that in the next few hours, it will execute the lady-bomber in its jails that ISIS wanted to swap for the aviator (and the 2 Japanese that were decapitated) as well as 4 other terrorists on death row.

    • bintbiba on February 3, 2015, 1:24 pm

      Why does one feel so nauseatingly sick at heart today ?
      What is the poison and fetid rot that grows in these people’s heart / brain /spirit !!!

    • eljay on February 3, 2015, 1:42 pm

      >> Walid: … ISIS have surpassed themselves by burning alive the captured Jordanian aviator. Where have we seen that done lately to a young Palestinian lad?

      Islamic supremacists and Jewish supremacists: A “no light between”, “shared common bond” of immorality and injustice.

    • oldgeezer on February 3, 2015, 1:52 pm

      I sickens me that want Assad gone so badly that help these people even if only indirectly through training equipment and medical aid. They represent no one but their own evil clique. Assad may well be a dictator but this is much worse.

  9. HarryLaw on February 12, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Two comments stand out for me in Ocampos piece in the Israeli paper, 1. “and can also argue that the Oslo agreements exclude Israelis from Palestinian jurisdiction and as a consequence from the ICC’s authority”. Does he not know Palestine is officially occupied territory? Israel can go anywhere and do anything [within the parameters of International law] in that territory, and it does so.
    2. On the settlements “This will be a difficult debate for Israel, but it should be ready to participate in order to do damage control. Israel could present its arguments connected with the jurisdiction but also allege that settlements are not in Palestine but rather in disputed territories, and additionally that the alleged crimes were eventually committed in the past by those who decided the settlements. The possibility to discuss the legal limits could contribute to a peaceful negotiation of the problem”.
    Ocampo should apply to be Israels lawyer, “Disputed territories” please consult the opinion of the ICJ in 2004 all 15 Judges agreed the settlements are illegal.
    Good work Hostage

    • Hostage on February 14, 2015, 12:06 am

      Ocampo should apply to be Israels lawyer

      I assumed that he already had, when he visited Israel last year and said that it had little to fear from the ICC.

      By the time he left office, he was almost a pariah. There were calls to remove him from office over a sex scandal and his very dismal performance.

      can also argue that the Oslo agreements exclude Israelis from Palestinian jurisdiction and as a consequence from the ICC’s authority”.

      Article 7 and 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibit an occupying power from concluding any special agreement that derogates from it’s obligations under the Convention. The ICJ found that Israel had facilitated the establishment of the settlements and had transferred portions of its own civilian population into the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of its obligations under Article 49 of the Convention. The attempt to prolong that illegal situation and make the presence of Israeli civilians and settlements an issue for the (future) “permanent status negotiations” renders the Oslo DOP an example of a prohibited type of special agreement.

      Worse still, Article 8 of the Rome Statute and Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions say that the situation is a war crime. On a number of occasions, the Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber had to dismiss Ocompo’s strange legal theories and remind him that:

      The interpretation of treaties, and the Rome Statute is no exception, is governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (23 May 1969), specifically the provisions of articles 31 and 32. The principal rule of interpretation is set out in article 31 (1) that reads: A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.

      — see Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo, Judgment on the Prosecutor’s Application for Extraordinary Review of the Pre-Trial Chamber Is 31 Mar. 2006 Decision Denying Leave to Appeal, ICC-01/04 168, 13 July 2006, paras. 33-42.

      The prohibition against genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity is considered a “jus cogens” norm of customary international law, from which no exceptions are permitted. That was the “raison d’être” cited in support of the establishment of all of these international criminal tribunals by the UN in the early 1990s. Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is titled: “TREATIES CONFLICTING WITH A PEREMPTORY NORM OF GENERAL INTERNATIONAL LAW (“JUS COGENS”). It says:

      A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.

      FYI, in 1988, after the King of Jordan had dissolved the federal union between the East and West Banks, the Palestinian National Council appointed the PLO Executive Committee to the role of Provisional Government of the State of Palestine. Jordan, like all of the members of the Arab League recognized the newly emerged state. The General Assembly resolution that recently upgraded Palestine to a non-member observer state noted the role played by the PLO acting as the state’s government since 1988. The 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO set out the terms for a jurisdictional division of labor between the State of Israel and a third, newly created, municipal-level governmental entity: “the Palestinian Council” aka the Palestinian Authority. The Accords did not specifically mention or limit the criminal jurisdiction retained by the PLO. FYI, every federal state-level government has the capacity to exercise universal jurisdiction in accordance with customary international law, regardless of the limited nature of the scope of jurisdiction exercised by its municipal or intermediate levels of government. The PLO signed a number of valid international agreements for the benefit of the PA during the interim period, e.g.

      In any event, the text of the: 1993 “Oslo” Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements explicitly stated that it and the subsequent agreements were “for a transitional period not exceeding five years”.

      A legal scholar, Errol Mendes, on sabbatical at the ICC wrote an advisory opinion for Ocampo which pointed out the Accords had legally lapsed, back when the Israelis first objected that Palestine was violating the agreements by involving the ICC:

      There is an element of irrationality for anyone to suggest that the Palestinian State can not even declare independence after the Oslo Accords expired on September 13, 2000 as it contained an obligation to refrain from doing anything to undermine the object and purpose of the Accords such as a unilateral declaration of independence. There is no international law authority supporting this position and if it was accurate, it would also call into question the legitimacy of Israel’s actions since the expiration of the Oslo Accords, given the illegal expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

      I would add that it is also somewhat schizophrenic to argue that the PLO Executive Committee, acting as the the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, still cannot make a valid treaty declaration or conclude a valid treaty accession with regard to the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute, the UN Charter, & etc., but that it somehow managed to do both of those things as part of the 1993 Oslo process with Israel. Frankly, if you accept the strange proposition advanced by the current Prosecutor that: the State of Palestine only came into existence on 29 November 2012 when it’s status was upgraded from that of a mere “Entity”, you’ll have an insurmountable problem establishing the fact that it was ever a party to the Oslo Accords in the first place.

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