Palestinian Authority aims to file charges against Israel

World Today

Millions of dollars in tax revenue withheld by Israel. The U.S. has threatened to reduce aid. This threat has not deterred the Palestinians from petitioning to join the International Criminal Court. CCTV’s Stephanie Freid reported this story from Ramallah.

The Palestinian Authority’s request to join the Hague’s International Criminal Court is a move that will lead to filing war and human rights abuses charges against Israel. After being fed up with stalled peace negotiations, the bold move is meant to hold Israel’s government accountable for their “transgressions”.

Palestinian Authority aims to file charges against Israel

Palestinian Authority aims to file charges against Israel

Millions of dollars in tax revenue withheld by Israel. The U.S. has threatened to reduce aid. This threat has not deterred the Palestinians from petitioning to join the International Criminal Court. CCTV's Stephanie Freid reported this story from Ramallah.

“It’s a test for the ICC to maintain its image and to say: you know, we go after the crimes everywhere,” Shawan Jabarin, Director of Al-Haq Palestinian Human Rights organization said. “Israel is a big fish and the ICC can maintain its image if it goes after Israel because if it goes after Israel it would mean it went after a strong country. It will have taken on the country that was supported unconditionally by the U.S., it goes after the country that was supported by the European countries.”

Hundreds of investigation committee team members poured over tens of thousands of documents in an effort to pare down cases and pinpoint individuals.

Some of the charges they were looking to file include: Israeli war crimes during the 2014 military campaign in Gaza, apartheid policy, punitive home demolitions and illegal settlement building.

Israel’s government, was furious over the prospect of coming under scrutiny, and has plans to launch its own anti-Hague campaign.

Israel’s government and the U.S. administration argued the move circumvents direct peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, harming prospects for achieving a peace deal between the sides.

Investigators said the peace process is a farce, justice is the goal.

“To go to the ICC and to go after the criminals. You will support and you will help peace,” Jabarin said. “The status quo doesn’t help peace. The status quo it helps the rightist wings, it helps the extremists and it helps, I think, the continuing of the crime. That’s the case. The status quo, because at the end, you know, no price paid for this. Who can say that they will change If you have no price to pay, you will continue in your way.”

When the investigations are completed and the claims are submitted to the ICC, processing those claims could take years.