B’Tselem: Israeli objection to ICC on ‘Palestine’ divorced from reality

Palestine Update 343

B’Tselem: Israeli objection to ICC on ‘Palestine’ divorced from reality
The ICC Pretrial Chamber is expected to decide sometime after March whether to recognize a “State of Palestine” and approve a full criminal probe of Israel and Hamas for alleged war crimes.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaks with her deputy, James Stewart, at an ICC hearing in March 2014 (photo credit: REUTERS)A report published by B’Tselem on Thursday attacked Israel’s claims that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction in “Palestine” as relying “on intentional misquotation, disregard for international law and an absurd misrepresentation of reality.”

The ICC Pretrial Chamber is expected to decide sometime after March whether to recognize a “State of Palestine” and approve a full criminal probe of Israel and Hamas for alleged war crimes. On December 20, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was ready to move forward on allegations against Israel relating to the 2014 Gaza War and the settlement enterprise, as well as potentially the 2018-2019 Gaza border conflict.

Israel immediately filed two extensive briefs claiming that since there is no sovereign Palestine to refer a case to the ICC; ICC intervention would merely politicize a diplomatic dispute which Israel and the Palestinians must resolve through negotiations. The impact of the ICC delving further into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be unprecedented at the diplomatic, legal and public relations levels.

A large number of countries and NGOs have filed legal briefs to support each side of the legal dispute, but B’Tselem is now the first Israeli NGO to support the Palestinian side.  B’Tselem’s counter-brief does acknowledge that, “The status of a ‘non-member observer state’, such as that of Palestine, does raise questions that the drafters of the Rome Statute likely never imagined and therefore did not address in the Statute itself.”
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Brown U. committee: divest from Israeli companies that ‘profit from occupation’
A Brown advisory committee has issued a formal recommendation that the Ivy League university divest from “any company that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.”

Brown University's John Carter Brown library (photo credit: CHENSIYUAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

photo credit: CHENSIYUAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

A Brown advisory committee has issued a formal recommendation that the Ivy League university divest from “any company that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. The recommendation was contained in an official report made to the university president and its highest governing body, The Brown Daily Herald student newspaper reported. An additional report will include which specific companies to include. The committee met to discuss the criteria, which will be guided by the U.N. Human Rights report containing a list of 112 companies it found to be involved in “activities that raised particular human rights concerns” in the “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

The advisory committee makes nonbinding recommendations about investment and “issues of ethical and moral responsibility” to the school’s president and governing body. Its members represent the faculty, staff, students and alumni at the university, which is located in Providence, Rhode Island. For the rest of the semester, the committee’s meetings will be held by video conference due to concerns relating to the corona virus, the newspaper said.

In March 2019, undergraduates at Brown voted by a more than 2-to-1 margin to “identify and divest from companies that profit from Israeli violations of human rights.”
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US calls East Jerusalem Palestinians ‘Arab residents’ or ‘non-Israeli citizens’
New State Department report ditches traditional term ‘Palestinian residents’ in move that continues Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Palestinians shopping in the market in Jerusalem's Old City on November 22, 2019. (Sara Klatt/Flash90)
The State Department referred to Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as “Arab residents” and “non-Israeli citizens,” ditching the traditional term “Palestinian residents” in a move that continues the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Reuters first reported the change, which was evident in language in the latest State Department human rights report. West Bank residents are still described as Palestinian in the report. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians in Jerusalem, numbering some 340,000, prefer to be known as “Palestinian.” Palestinians have long sought East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The move could inflame tensions in the debate over US President Donald Trump’s recently released Middle East peace plan, which would see Israel incorporate land that much of the international community sees as illegally occupied. “Palestinian Jerusalemites are Palestinians, and they’ve been living there for centuries,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official who lives in Jerusalem, told Reuters. “Just to decide this, to eradicate their identity and history and culture and rename them at will, is not only preposterous, it’s unconscionable.”
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Israel accelerates usurpation of Palestinian land, PLO denounces

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The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced on Wednesday that Israel is accelerating the usurpation of land in the West Bank despite the resistance of its inhabitants, who are trying to protect it in defenseless conditions. While the international community is fighting against the spread of the new corona virus, Israel is accelerating the de facto annexation of those territories, warned Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, who also rejected attacks against civilians who are prepared to confront the promoters of illegal settlements. In addition, Ashrawi condemned the decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reactivate the project aimed at building houses in the so-called E1 area, which if implemented would divide the West Bank in two halves and would hinder the establishment of a future visible and continuous Palestinian state. The PLO leader also warned about other controversial programs such as the building of a road near the illegal settlement of Maale Adumim in the same region, reported Wafa News Agency.

Following the presentation of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ by US President Donald Trump, clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian citizens increased. The latter repudiate such a proposal because they consider it contrary to the pacts previously outlined to solve the long conflict between both parties, and to the resolutions issued by the United Nations.
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State Department now calls eastern Jerusalem Palestinians ‘Arab residents’ or ‘non-Israelis’
Palestinians shopping in the market in Jerusalem's Old City on November 22, 2019. (Sara Klatt/Flash90)The State Department referred to Palestinians living in eastern Jerusalem as “Arab residents” and “non-Israeli citizens,” ditching the traditional term “Palestinian residents” in a move that continues the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The change was evident in language in the latest State Department human rights report. West Bank residents are still described as Palestinian in the report. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians in Jerusalem, numbering some 340,000; prefer to be known as “Palestinian.” Palestinians have long sought eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The move comes in the wake of President Trump’s recently released Middle East peace plan, which would see Israel incorporate land that much of the international community sees as illegally occupied.
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