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"Systematic Murder" Complaint Filed To ICC Over Gaza Killings

"Systematic Murder" Complaint Filed To ICC Over Gaza Killings

Kiwi Investigator Led Investigations Teams In Gaza

"The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Israeli Army commited systematic murders of Palestinians demonstrators, in Palestine, near the border." - Complaint To ICC Submitted 17th May 2018

As diplomatic condemnations of the Gaza Massacre death toll from last Monday continue to echo around the world, an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes committed by Israeli Defence Force snipers against Palestinian prostesters is looking increasingly possible. Scoop's Alastair Thompson reports from France on the timely laying of a complaint by 562 victims and families of those killed and injured in the Great March of Return.

Four Years Experience Documenting Israeli War Crimes
The ICC's Decision Maker - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
A Brief History of War Crimes Complaints And Inquiries re. Israel
How A War Crimes Prosecution Can Be Started
The Great March of Return Protests & Gaza Massacre of May 14th
United States Veto Closes The First Door
Palestine's War Crimes Investigation Team
Palestine's War Crimes French Lawyer - Gilles Devers
The Killing of Ibrahim Abu Thoraya
The Palestinian Government May Also Complain


Avocat Gilles Devers & Investigator Julie Webb Pullman with their Gaza Massacre War Crimes Complaint

At 10am on Thursday 17th May in a small office in the center of Lyon a detailed war crimes complaint on behalf of 562 victims and families of those seriously injured or killed in the Great Return March was submitted to the International Criminal Court by Lyon Based lawyer Gilles Devers.

Devers and Julie Webb Pullman, the chief investigator who has been working in Gaza for the past four years, participated in a press conference held via skype with Arabic media based in Gaza. While the press conference wasn't well publicised, or attended, the potential impact of the complaint is another matter.

To date the International Criminal Court has proven completely ineffective in dealing with events in occupied Palestine. There are many reasons for this, including the relative youth of the court itself - established in 2002. But now, after a decade of work to bring the situation in Gaza before the Court, those seeking justice may be on the threshold of a breakthrough.

You can read the full complaint to the International Criminal Court ICC here. [Note: The names of the 562 victims on whose behalf the complaint is being made are redacted. You will see in the complaint that it is supported by 69 lawyers from Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, Kuwait and France.]

The 32 page complaint is accompanied by detailed individual case files on each victim's injury or death. Work to complete these files continues in Gaza. And further case files will be submitted for the 60 people killed, and 100s shot on the Gaza/Israel border on Monday 14th May.

Monday was far and away the worst day of violence over the seven weeks of mass March of Return protests held every Friday since March 30th.

Webb-Pullman's team have been working since January this year with TAWTHEQ - a quango of the Palestinian Government, constituted by legislation and given responsibility to document war crimes after the 2008 Gaza War which is also known as Operation Cast Lead. In that conflict 1500 Gazans were killed and over 5000 injured.

The detailed files compiled by Webb-Pullman's team include: photos taken in hospital of the injuries, medical information about the cause of death and nature of injuries, witness statements from those present at the scene, diagrams of where the incidents took place and body map diagrams showing how the injuries were inflicted. Each file has associated evidence such as bullets or other projectiles and blood samples, all collected with a clear chain of custody record enabling it to be submitted formally in court. In the case of gas related injuries and deaths - during the March of Return protests there were several reported incidents of gas weapons causing convulsions and other symptoms more typical of nerve agents than tear gas - blood, tissue and urine samples have been collected along with spent gas cannisters.


Four Years Experience Doccumenting Israeli War Crimes

Julie Webb-Pullman in Lyon last Thursday morning.

Over the past four years Kiwi journalist, investigator and human rights activist Julie Webb Pullman has trained and coordinated funding to assemble teams to collect evidence, interview witnesses and properly document thousands of individual war crimes committed in the period since Operation Protective Edge (2014).

Without properly collected evidence it is difficult for the International Criminal Court to act. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that Israel controls Gaza's borders and does not recognise the ICC. It would therefore be very difficult for ICC investigators to obtain timely access to the scene to collect their own evidence.

Webb-Pullman, 64 has been trapped inside Gaza for the past four years after she returned to Gaza in the lead up to the catastrophic 2014 Gaza War/bombing campaign in which over 2,000 Gazans were killed and over 10,000 injured.

Before setting up her war crimes documentation efforts, Webb Pullman worked as a journalist in Gaza maintaining a blog and the website for She also worked for a period training young Gazans in reporting and writing skills.


The ICC's Decision Maker - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda is responsible for making a decision about whether to proceed with a war crimes investigation into last Monday's massacre. Reports indicate she has had a close eye on events in Gaza since the Great Return March began on March 30th.

On April 8th, following the second day of mass protests, Fatou Bensouda issued a statement about the protests saying:

"It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations. Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets. Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza - could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court"), as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities."

Then this past Tuesday - the day after the massacre of 60 Gazan protesters coincided with the opening of a new US Embassy in Jerusalem, and attracted global media attention - Fatou Bensouda made a further statement to Agence France Presse:

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) vowed on Tuesday that she was watching closely killings in Gaza, and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute anyone deemed to be a suspected war criminal.

Fatou Bensouda's comments come after the shooting dead of at least 61 Palestinians were gunned down on the border of Gaza during protests.

"My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within" the tribunal's jurisdiction, she warned in a statement to AFP, adding: "The violence must stop."

This report, also picked up by Reuters, has attracted a lot of attention. In part because Israel has till now appeared to be beyond reach of the jurisdiction of the court, thanks to the protection it enjoys at the UN Security Council from the United States. The flagrancy of the human rights abuses committed on the Gaza Border over the past seven weeks also strongly suggests Israel itself also considers itself beyond the reach of the court.


A Brief History of War Crimes Complaints And Inquiries re. Israel

Starting a war crimes inquiry into Israel's actions as part of its occupation has been an aspirational goal of many in the human rights community ever since the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court entered into force in 2002.

The Statute includes very clearly defined responsibilities of occupying powers in relation to the citizens of occupied territories, responsibilities that Israel has consistently flouted.

Footage of the Israeli Boarding of the Mavi Marmara - 31 May 2010

To date there has been only one war crimes inquiry related to Palestine, albeit not one convened by the ICC, and not one related to Palestinian deaths. Instead this inquiry was held into the Gaza Flotilla Raid of 31 May 2010 during which nine international activists (mostly Turkish) were killed when the flotilla was boarded by IDF soldiers. In August 2010 the UNSC convened a special panel led by former NZ Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer to examine what had happened.

Later the ICC also examined the matter, starting a preliminary inquiry, but deciding against launching an investigation. This decision was closely contested. Wikipedia:

"In November 2014, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), stated that there "is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defence Forces intercepted the 'Gaza Freedom Flotilla' on 31 May 2010".

However, she declined to further pursue the case as it "would not be of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the ICC." Representatives of the Comoros, on whose behalf the case was referred to the ICC, appealed the prosecutor's decision, and in July 2015 a pre-trial chamber ruled that Bensouda had made errors in her decision to dismiss the case.

Bensouda appealed, but in November 2015 the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court upheld the decision of the pre-trial chamber. Bensouda then launched another preliminary investigation, reviewing more than 5,000 pages of documents and more than 300 statements from passengers.

In November 2017, she reaffirmed her previous decision not to investigate, concluding that while war crimes may have been committed on the Mavi Marmara ship and her conclusion does not excuse any crimes which may have been perpetrated, the incident wasn't serious enough to merit ICC involvement.

In the Christmas 2008-09 Gaza War, over a period of 22 days, 1417 Palestinians were killed, and 5303 injured - a majority of whom were civilians. Following the War the Palestinian Parliament passed legislation to establish the Palestinian Independent Commission for the Prosecution of Zionist Crimes against Palestinians (TAWTHEQ) - the organisation behind last week's ICC complaint.

Palestine's Govt also began investigating joining the ICC to enable them to make official complaints about abuses in Occupied Palestinian territories. After opposition to them doing so emerged from multiple quarters the Palestinian Government did not do so till after the 2014 Gaza War, during which a further 2300 were killed and 10,000+ injured.

And at that point the possibility of an ICC prosecution of Israel and its military started to be taken seriously, but even though complaints have since been laid with the ICC, none have yet been done so on behalf of the Palestinian Government.


How A War Crimes Prosecution Can Be Started

The International Criminal Court In Session In The Hague

There are three ways that a war crimes inquiry can be initiated at the International Criminal Court.

1. By referral from the UN Security Council. A means which in the case of Israel is wholly ineffective. Neither the US nor Israel acknowledge the court.
2. By referral from a member of a nation state member of the court, all those nations that have signed the Rome Statute, the treaty which set up the court. The Palestinian Authority is a member of the court and therefore can make such a referral.
3. Or, the final way an inquiry can begin is on the initiative of the court's prosecutor, in the form of a request to the judges of the court to open an inquiry.


The Great March of Return Protests & Gaza Massacre of May 14th

Smoke and teargas during one of the March of Return protests.

Gaza's Great March of Return protests began on March 30th 2018. The protests were proposed on Facebook and garnered such widespread support from groups inside Gaza that they were officially endorsed by Hamas, the government of Gaza.

Protesters set up a tents near the border with Israel and held mass protests each week on Friday, protesting primarily against the siege of Gaza, and as the name suggests, for the right to return. It was always intended that the protests would be peaceful, and non-violent protest training sessions were held at the protest camps to reinforce this.

Over the course of the following seven weeks 104 protesters were killed and over 12,600 injured, around half of whom were hospitalised. Over the same period one Israeli soldier was injured.

The vast bulk of deaths and injuries, many of will lead to permanent impairment, were caused by gunfire from IDF snipers stationed behind the border, often on the top of high earth berms. The legality of this use of lethal force against unarmed protesters - some of whom were throwing stones and burning tyres to obscure themselves from the view of the snipers - was questioned from day one of the protests.

A helpful description of the legal issues is contained in this article in Slate Magazine:

"We know they include at least two permits to allow force that could be potentially lethal against individuals who do not pose imminent danger to lives at the time they are being targeted. One is individuals who are considered by the army as principal "agitators" or principal demonstrators, whatever that means. And if some conditions are met, they can be targeted. We know that in the list of conditions that have to be met, we know there is no demand that they present imminent danger, which is a departure. That is a deviation from the laws of use of force against civilians.

And the second deals with individuals who cross a certain line of distance toward the Gaza border fence and damage it. And again, damaging the border fence is an offense and it is an attack launched against a military installation. But it is not a capital-punishment offense, and it can and should be dealt with by nonlethal means. And unfortunately, what we see and what we know from statements from both generals and ministers, there is a permit to shoot to injure in these cases. Even if the intent is not to kill, but to injure or to stop, the legal implication of using lethal force, or force that potentially could be lethal, is enough for me to conclude that this is illegal and a grave violation of international law.

Let me put it in a sound bite: International law allows endangering human life in order to protect human life, not any other thing. And what we are seeing here is a deviation from that very simple, very important principle."

The protest was scheduled to reach its climax and end on the 70th Day of Nakba (The Catastrophe), May 15th, the day on which the Palestinian people recall being evicted from their homes in the period 1947-1949, and during which many of them were sent into excile.

On the day before, May 14th, the US Embassy opened in Jerusalem in controversial circumstances. And during the opening the level of casualties on the Gaza border exploded. By the end of the day 60 people had been killed and, according to the Palestinians, 1350 had been wounded by gunfire.

The massacre overshadowed the opening of the Embassy in international media. It led to the withdrawal of several diplomatic representatives from Israel, multiple calls for independent investigations, complaints to the ICC from Reporters Sans Frontiers and the Turkish Government, and an emergency UN Security Council meeting.


United States Veto Closes The First Door

Urgent UNSC Meeting Called To Discuss Gaza Massacre

On Tuesday, the day after the massacre, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was held to discuss the high death toll in Gaza.

Called by the permanent representative from Kuwait, the meeting followed use of its veto power by the United States to prevent an otherwise unanimously supported UNSC statement expressing alarm at the deaths and mayhem of 14th May, and calling for an inquiry.

During Tuesday's Security Council meeting - which you can watch in full above - there was near unanimous support by UNSC members - other than the United States - for an independent investigation into the events which led to the loss of so many lives over the past seven weeks, and especially on Monday.

It was widely noted in the media that United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley walked out of the chamber as soon as the Palestinian representative began to speak.

Earlier in her statement to the council Amb. Haley blamed the death toll entirely on Hamas, the Governing political party in Gaza, and rejected any notion that the moving of the US Embassy was in any manner a contributing cause to the deathtoll.

Similar views, expressed by President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner at the opening ceremony for the new US Embassy in Jerusalem (which coincided with the massacre) were later repeated several times later on Tuesday by a spokesman for the White House, even though they were left out of the official transcript of Kushner's remarks.


Palestine's War Crimes Investigation Team

In January of 2015, after Palestine finally joined the International Criminal Court as a member following the 2014 Gaza war, the ICC opened a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine. A preliminary investigation is held by the ICC to determine whether or not it considers that an investigation is warranted.

Kiwi investigator Webb Pullman's work on war crimes in Gaza had begun earlier, in 2014. After arriving back in Gaza in June of 2014 she hadn't been there very long before she found herself working as a human shield, alongside other internationals (western foreign residents), trying to protect hospitals from being bombed. It was perceived that the Israelis would not kill citizens of western nation for fear of that leading to inconvenient questions and investigations.

During this period Webb Pullman - who has worked as an investigator in NZ and elsewhere - realised the best place to collect evidence for potential war crimes prosecutions would be inside the hospitals. She and her colleagues began to document what they were seeing and to collect the evidence of damage to the hospitals themselves. Often they found parts of Israeli ordnance were left inside smashed up hospital buildings. Later she formulated a documentation form which has now been adopted in several hospitals for use when treating anyone who is injured by military means. This enables the process of documentation of the circumstances of war related death or injury events begin swiftly.

After her experience during the 2014 war Webb-Pullman started to work full time on documenting war crimes according to the standards that judicial processes require. Working first with Gazan Human Rights NGO Hemaya and later with the Gazan Ministry of Health Webb-Pullman put together teams to enable her to compile comprehensive and detailed war crimes complaints about events which occurred during Operation Protective Edge (aka the 2014 Gaza War) and it's aftermath.

Operation Protective Edge, which was for the most part an aerial bombardment, began in Gaza in July and August of 2014. It led to the very widespread destruction and massive loss of life. During the bombing campaign more than 2300 Palestinians were killed and 10,000 injured.

The War Crimes complaint Webb-Pullman assembled about the war detailed among other things, Israeli use of prohibited weapons as well the deliberate bombing of hospitals, residential apartment blocks, and civilian infrastructure and the loss of civilian life.

Like the latest complaint the 2014 War complaint was also lodged with the ICC on behalf of individual victims and their families because the Palestinian Government was not willing to make a formal complaint under Article 14 of the Rome Statute.

It is notable that as of today, four years after joining the International Criminal Court, no formal referral request for a war crimes investigation for any of the Gaza conflicts - including the Gaza Massacre and the Great March of Return - has been made to the ICC Prosecutor. That said there are some signs that Palestinian Government resistance to making a formal referral may be weakening.


Palestine's War Crimes French Lawyer - Gilles Devers

Lyon Based International Law Avocat Gilles Devers

Speaking to Scoop in his office in Lyon, Gilles Devers, the French lawyer acting for TAWTHEQ is hopeful that a long awaited break-through with the ICC will be forthcoming now.

Devers points to the strong public statements made by the prosecutor and by many nations about the death toll on May 14th and in the seven weeks preceding. The International legal issues related to the use of lethal force against protesting civilians under occupation were also relatively straight forward.

But most important of all, M. Devers said, was the quality of the evidence that had been gathered on the ground by Webb-Pullman and her team.

In addition a recent request by the ICC Prosecutor to open of an ICC investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan since 2003 means there is now a precedent for an investigation to be initiated under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, by the ICC Prosecutor acting on her own account and applying to the magistrates of the court to look at the case.

The latest Palestinian complaint to the court was based around the legal arguments laid out in the the application by the Prosecutor in the Afghanistan case which can be read here.

In the 32-page complaint lodged last week the legal and evidential arguments for opening a War Crimes prosecution are made using the specific detailed case of Ibrahim Abu Thoraya, protester who was shot on Friday 15th December 2017 in very similar circumstances to most of those shot over the past seven weeks.

The complaint begins its factual account of the circumstances of the March 30th to May 14th protests as follows:

"There is a separation barrier, built with solid facilities, with masonry, stakes and fences. The barrier is protected by heavy installations. Behind the separation barrier, there are classic military equipment, which allows soldiers to stand up, with guards, sandbags or earth embankments enabling them to watch and act safely. Are erected as well towers whose height exceeds the barrier, from which the Israeli army can watch and shoot.

The Palestinian protesters are on the opposite ground, which is a wasteland with no defense facilities. There are just some reliefs and some concrete blocks, which eventually offer a limited protection. The young protesters are located on this area, on a strip of land that is between 300 and 50 meters from the barrier.

These are civilians who come for demonstrations.

Since December 2017, the Palestinians have not fired any shots at the Israeli soldiers.

The only weapons available for the protesters are slingshots or catapults throwing stones at the soldiers. The photographs show that only a few protesters have these materials.

The risk posed by throwing stones is objectively very limited. These throws are essentially symbolic. Indeed, the demonstrators cannot manage to approach the barrier, being in the best case at about fifty meters, but it is impossible to stay because when approaching they are targeted by the Israeli fire.

The stones thrown are aimed at soldiers who are in military uniform, so with an adequate protection even in case of being hit by a stone. Moreover, the soldiers benefit from material protection with high wire mesh, solid protections, and on the tower, strong protections and sandbags.

In such a way, these demonstrations are essentially peaceful, with no armed elements, and the stones throwing does not represent any real physical threat to the soldiers.

For the Palestinians, these demonstrations are a means to express their determined opposition to the colonization process.

To disperse the demonstrators with a real risk of crossing the barrier, Israeli soldiers can use gas and defensive grenades.

However, responding to the military command, the soldiers use targeted fire. The use of targeted shootings against civilian demonstrators, who are also on their own territory and separated by an impenetrable barrier, characterizes the violation of international law."


The Killing of Ibrahim Abu Thoraya

The complaint then (pages 12 to 26) proceeds to relate the killing of 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thoraya on December 15th 2017, nine days after the announcement by Donald Trump that he was planning on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Abu Thoraya (a.k.a. Abu Thuraya) was shot by Israeli snipers in the forehead whilst sitting in a wheelchair and waving a flag just 30 meters from the border. The account of his killing in the ICC complaint includes extracts from witness accounts from multiple eyewitnesses.

Abu Thoraya, a fisherman, was injured in the 2008 war and lost his legs, after this he made a living washing cars. He felt strongly about the occupation and was a very well known participant in spontaneous border protests held after Friday prayers in response to Donald Trump's announcement of the decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

On the 15th of December around 200 protestors were protesting at a particularly well fortified part of the border with Israel.

From the description of what happened next it is clear that these earlier protests were a prelude to those which took place over the past seven weeks. Stone throwing and tyre burning, tear gas in response from the Israeli's followed by rubber bullets and then gunfire from snipers, sometimes shooting to frighten, sometimes to maim and sometimes to kill.

As the protest on the 15th of December heated up Abu Thoraya moved fairly close to the border, around 30 meters away from the fortifications. A large amount of teargas was being used and several protesters were injured. Shortly before Thoraya was shot, other protester was also shot dead. And then it was Abu Thoraya's turn.

"It was after this first phase that Ibrahim was shot. Ibrahim remained in his position as a protester, motionless. He refused to go back. There was a bit of confusion from the gas and bullet shooting that had just taken place, but Ibrahim was still in his advanced position, about twenty meters away. Several people witnessed the shooting and saw Ibrahim collapse when he was hit by the bullet.

There is no doubt that it is an Israeli shooting, carried out by soldiers who were behind the protective wall. Ibrahim was facing the soldiers, and the bullet hit his forehead just above the brow bone, that is, from the front. The bullet has been extracted and is the subject of an expert report.

It's a sniper shot, designed to kill. The soldiers have precision weapons, especially at 20 meters. Ibrahim did not move, or very little, because of his disability. Soldiers shoot and aim safely and without panic, given the protections and security they have. It's a criminal shot."

The complaint says that while the shooter cannot be identified, witnesses believed it was probably one of a group of female snipers at the protest, one of whom may have been hit with a rock shortly before Abu Thoraya was shot.

The killing of Thoraya has also been reported on by B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories as part of their coverage of the "open fire", rules of engagement that IDF soldiers operate under.

This report on the killing of Thoraya, published by B'Tselem on Feb 14th, makes clear the flaws in the IDF's open fire rules of engagement on the Gaza border were operational, much discussed and widely known for a lengthy period before the Great Return March began.

"During the wave of protests sparked by President Trump's declaration about Jerusalem, another seven demonstrators - apart from Abu Thuraya - were shot and killed by soldiers who were stationed on the other side of the perimeter fence. Like Abu Thuraya, none of the protesters who were killed posed mortal danger to the soldiers. According to figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, between 7 and 31 December 2017, a total of 322 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition fired by the military and 58 were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. This reality is a direct result of the military's open-fire policy near the perimeter fence, which includes gunfire - also by snipers - at stone-throwers who pose no danger whatsoever.

The media reported that the Military Police Investigations Unit has launched an investigation into the shooting of Abu Thuraya. However, past experience shows the investigation is highly unlikely to lead to the prosecution of those responsible for this unlawful killing, to say nothing of the prosecution of senior figures. This experience, which shows that such investigations almost always end in a whitewash, has led B'Tselem to stop sending demands to the MAG Corps to open investigations. That said, the obligation to investigate and bring to justice those responsible remains squarely on the shoulders of the military system. Yet as long as the MAG Corps continues its policy of systematically whitewashing instances in which Israeli security forces kill or injure Palestinians, with no one being held to account for these actions, the unlawful killing will continue."

At paragraph 99 of the complaint, the fact that the nature of shooting policies have been so consistent for such a lengthy period is used to conclude that the IDF is conducting a systematic programme of murder.

"The situation of the victim Ibrahim was the subject of a detailed report, which makes the crime perfectly probable, and which shows the quality of the work that can be produced by the services of Palestine, to the International Criminal Court.

The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Israeli Army commited systematic murders of Palestinians demonstrators, in Palestine, near the border."


The Palestinian Government May Also Complain

On Thursday last week it was reported that the Palestinian Authority may finally make a referral to the ICC itself under Article 14:

The Palestinian Authority is preparing to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes -- a potential key development for a case opened by the Court in 2015.

A document referring Israel to the ICC for "war crimes" was signed in Ramallah on Tuesday evening by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki and is expected to be filed with the Prosecutor next week. The decision was taken after the May 14 protests in Gaza, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told the press.

That being said, there have been similar such reports in the past, without a referral having yet been made, and it is for this reason that this complaint is being made to the Prosecutor under Article 15 requesting that she take action on her own account.

It is widely believed financial pressures form donor nations is the reason no referral has been made to the ICC in the four years since the Palestinian Government signed the Rome Statute in 2014.

At the time Palestine became a member the Israeli Government responded with condemnations as did a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators.

The Palestinian Authority, where the decision making power in this matter lies, is very financially dependent on assistance from the U.S. and European nations, particularly the UK and France.


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