US encourages Israel to commit crimes: Hamas

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) show members of the media the proclamation Trump signed on recognising Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights after their meeting outside the West Wing of the White House 25 March 2019 in Washington, DC. [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

US President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) show members of the media the proclamation Trump signed on recognising Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights after their meeting outside the West Wing of the White House 25 March 2019 in Washington, DC

The US is encouraging Israel to commit crimes by opposing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into alleged war crimes in Palestine, Hamas said Saturday.

“The attitude of the Washington administration encourages Israel to commit crimes against our people,” Hazem Qasim, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement.

The remarks came after the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo voiced opposition to the ICC probe into alleged Israeli war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“This attitude makes the US a partner in attacks against our people,” Qasem added.

Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of ICC, said Friday there is reasonable basis to investigate alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” she said in a statement, without naming Israel.

Read: Israel claims ICC has no jurisdiction over occupied Palestinian territories

US Opposition

In an official statement on Saturday, Pompeo said: “We firmly oppose this and any other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly.”

The American top diplomat also said that Washington did not believe that Palestine qualifies as a “sovereign state”, hence it should not be able to “obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organisations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.”

“By taking this action, the Prosecutor expressly recognised that there are serious legal questions about the Court’s authority to proceed with an investigation,” he added.

Opinion: Israel Cannot Escape ICC Jurisdiction

Turkish Support

Turkey on the other hand welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into alleged war crimes committed in Palestine.

“It is essential to bring Israel to account for the crimes committed in Palestine and the human rights violations it is responsible for and to provide international protection to Palestinians for ending the decades-long injustice in Palestine,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in statement.

“Otherwise, Israel will continue to commit these crimes with impunity due to the unconditional support of some third countries,” Aksoy added.

He urged the ICC to initiate an investigation into this blatant support of Israeli violations of international law.

Palestinians have long sought to carve out their own nation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war — as a way to end decades of tensions.

The two-state solution has long had broad international support, including from the US, until President Donald Trump came to power in 2017 and made a series of pro-Israel policy shifts.

Read: Palestine artwork stolen and hidden at the ICC

(Source / 22.12.2019) 

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