Ocampo: Israeli settlement activity war crime

ICC Ocampo

Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), said on Wednesday that the investigation being conducted by the ICC Public Prosecution Office in the file of the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, will most likely lead to the conviction of Israeli leaders.

Ocampo explained that the Israeli settlement activity is an ongoing war crime that constitutes a blatant violation of the Rome Statute and the principles of the international law which prohibit the occupying power to transfer its civilians to the occupied territory.

In this context, Ocampo denied statements attributed to him by a Hebrew newspaper a year and a half ago that the settlements do not violate the law, noting that it is not the first time that the Hebrew media claim such statements and that what was said is contrary to his firm legal convictions.

These statements were voiced during a panel discussion organized by al-Quds University in which a group of academics, students and researchers in the field of the international criminal law participated and discussed in depth the ICC mechanisms and the sequence of the events related to the Palestinian complaint filed to the court.

Ocampo pointed out that the lawsuit filed by the State of Palestine to the ICC caused a pressure on the Israeli side and added, quoting an Israeli leader, that Israel now recruits lawyers more than soldiers.

He affirmed that the Palestinian lawsuit is not an end in itself but one of the various political and diplomatic means used by the Palestinian side in order to achieve its legitimate goal of ending the occupation.

He said that exerting more pressure on Israel will compel it to reconsider its policies toward the Palestinians especially the settlement activity.

He stressed the importance of the role the civil society institutions, especially the legal centers in universities, can play in exposing the Israeli violations.

(Source / 31.05.2017)

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