The decision of the "International Criminal Court" gives hope to war victims to hold the leaders of the occupation accountable

The young Muhammad Rasmi Abu Malhous (Al-Sawarka), a resident of Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, closely monitors the circumstances and developments of the recent decision issued days ago by the International Criminal Court, which provides the Prosecutor with jurisdiction Judicial and geographical in the investigation of war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians in the 1967 borders.

The young man Abu Malhous is one of the survivors of an Israeli massacre that affected his family at the dawn of the fourteenth of November 2019, which led to the death of his parents and 4 of his siblings, along with his uncle (his father's brother) and his wife, while they were asleep, after warplanes leveled the house that is almost available in it. The foundations of life on earth.

The young man who misses his parents and siblings from time to time, after the decision of the International Criminal Court, is looking more at the glimmer of hope about the possibility of prosecuting the leaders of the occupation behind the crime that affected his family, as well as the similar crimes that affected dozens of Palestinian families who were subjected to Israeli air attacks while they were inside their homes, This led to the death of entire families, as was the case in the three wars in the Gaza Strip, without the perpetrators of these crimes being held accountable for many years.

The occupation had tried to justify its crime a few weeks after its occurrence that it had intelligence information that the house was empty of residents when it was targeted, and that the competent authorities approved it months ago when it was bombed as a target for the infrastructure of one of the factions, which is denied by the evidence and facts of the massacre that affected civilians. This was proven by human rights organizations.

Abu Malhous told, with the help of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a case was filed before an Israeli court to try those responsible for the massacre and pay compensation, but until this moment no decision has been issued, expressing his hope that the decision of the International Criminal Court is just a step The first to prosecute the perpetrators of the metaphor against the Palestinian people.

He indicated that he is ready to provide all evidence that denies the occupation's claims that his family has any relationship with the Palestinian factions, and that they are just a simple family living on humanitarian aid from various institutions, and that there is no site or military structure for any of the Palestinian factions in the vicinity of the house.

The Abu Malhous family is one of dozens of families whose testimonies have been heard by international and international human rights organizations about the crimes committed against their members while they are inside their homes, including families who died in the first war between 2008 and 2009, such as the Samouni family in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, and the Goldstone committee that formed it arrived The United Nations Human Rights Council, to investigate these crimes, but the Israeli government boycotted them from the start and refused to deal with them.

And many Palestinian families fear that the investigation will be delayed or not opened in light of the Israeli pressure on the court, whether directly or indirectly, through several Tel Aviv allies.

International law specialist Dr. Issam Yunus, Commissioner-General of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Human Rights says: All the reasons that could constitute an obstacle to the start of investigations have disappeared and no longer exist, including the claim that Palestine is not a state, noting that Palestine's accession to the Rome Agreement and other agreements related to The International Criminal Court and the absence of any objection to that removed these allegations.

Yunus said it was likely that the investigation would soon be announced by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, especially since there is something that requires investigation in view of the practices that amount to war crimes, as described in the request of Attorney General Fatou Bensouda, which she submitted to the court in advance.

He said, "The decision of the court in the jurisdiction was issued, and there is no longer any possibility to retract it, despite the attempts to circumvent this decision by the occupation and some countries that support it," calling on the official, human rights and popular Palestinian authorities to employ this decision, and to announce the start of the expected investigation soon. Through professional work and providing political and legal cover by working with friends, brothers and allies of Palestine, considering that our cause is just and it is not enough for us to be mere victims to take justice, he said.

He added, "The Palestinians have what they will present in this regard as institutions, authority, individuals and victims, and as institutions we have a huge amount of information and facts, and such a decision needs political will to move towards effective steps that show our needs for justice as an organized action and a right for the victims, not a desire for revenge. A conscious action aimed at achieving protection for the Palestinian people, so as not to repeat the scenes of these crimes, and not to leave civilians without protection, "indicating that the court may constitute a real deterrent to prevent the recurrence of these crimes.

On the Israeli occupation’s attempts to work behind the scenes with other countries to nominate a supporter for the position of Attorney General with the end of Fatou Bensouda's term next June, and to influence the decision to open the investigation, the international law man said: The decision is not related to whoever holds the position of public prosecutor, who Court institutions regardless of the identity of individuals, so an investigation is expected to open soon.

Regarding international pressures and positions in support of the occupation, Yunus pointed out that the decisions of the previous US administration to put pressure on the Attorney General Bensouda, the workers in her office and some judges, by preventing them from entering the United States, imposing penalties on them and attempts to undermine the government, were not resolved without the court issuing its very clear decision. Concerning the jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, pointing out that Palestinian human rights institutions that are fighting legal battles before international courts and others have been subjected to smear campaigns, and there have been attempts to link them with terrorism and anti-Semitism, but all of this did not compromise their continued use of the courts.

He said, "For us as Palestinians, we view the issue as a matter of justice, not political, and those working to politicize the court are the Israelis who refuse to be held accountable for the Gaza wars, settlements, Judaization of Jerusalem and the siege imposed on the Strip, and refuse to allow visits by UN officials for decades to investigate or see what is happening in The Palestinian territories also refused to submit them to the International Criminal Court even before Palestine joined it, "warning that if the leaders of the occupation remain without accountability and accountability, the worst is expected, which gives them immunity in front of their victims, and makes them put greater pressure on the court and its institutions.

Yunus stressed the need to use all parties to immunize the court in the face of these attempts by the occupation and its supporters, and attempts to undermine international justice, noting that civilians according to the rules of international law are a protected party, and they must be given justice according to this law.

For his part, Samir Zaqout, Deputy Director of the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, said: When Palestine joined the International Criminal Court, it proved that it has borders that are under occupation, and this is what settled the court’s decision with its geographical jurisdiction over those areas, especially since Palestine joined the Rome Agreement without any opposition. A European country or another from the world, pointing out that the position of the occupation authorities does not constitute any obstacle because it did not deal primarily with mechanisms from United Nations decisions, and prevented visits by UN officials to investigate similar crimes, and therefore it is constantly trying, and is currently preparing to wage a fierce war against the court and touch Prosecutor's office.

Zaqout pointed out that the investigation may extend for many years, noting that 3 human rights institutions, among them (Al-Mezan Center), submitted 6 notes to the international criminal in advance, documenting grave violations classified as war crimes, and one note proving The allegations of the occupation institutions failed to achieve justice and that they were investigating suspicions of war crimes.

And he indicated that human rights organizations resort to Israeli courts, although they always close investigation files without indicting any soldier, pointing out that in one case, only two soldiers were convicted in disciplinary cases for stealing from Palestinian homes, while it did not bother to bomb facilities and homes and kill civilians.

Zaqout said, "We proved that resorting to the judiciary inside Israel did not achieve any justice. We presented a memorandum of hundreds of cases and how the responses and investigations were and how they were closed, and we proved Israel's claims that its investigations are false."

He pointed out that the occupying power had made legal amendments and made its courts, for the first time in history, boycott the victims, instead of being boycotted by the victim, which facilitated the legal attack, and proved that it does not achieve any justice.

In response to a question about the possibility of the court opening an investigation against the Palestinian factions, especially Hamas, the Deputy Director of the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights stressed the need for all Palestinians to work in the spirit of the group in order to fortify the Palestinian situation and to commit to the investigation that will be opened at any moment, referring to a previous position announced by Hamas about its support For the Palestinian people, even if it is harmed by it.

He pointed out that the occupation's previous allegations that there were war crimes committed by "Hamas" against the Israelis were not proven, especially since the Israeli government refrained from cooperating with international investigation committees to show this.

He said, "Attempts to intimidate the Palestinians that the investigation could reach them is harmless, and if some Palestinians are investigated there is no harm in order to achieve justice for our people," noting that the position of the occupying power is weak, and that it is aware of the truth of the crimes committed, and therefore it refrains from cooperating with Investigations.

Zaqout described the court’s decision as a victory, especially as it was issued despite the pressures exerted on it, and the attempts to threaten its people from judges and the Attorney General’s office, and as a great achievement, calling on the Palestinians to coordinate and work together to strengthen their performance with the support of their friends around the world.

Zaqout affirmed that the occupation's position is the most difficult before the court, and that he will be tried according to the data that will be linked to the law, and therefore the court will reach one conclusion to condemn him, and that the Palestinians have the ability to win as long as these crimes are dealt objectively in accordance with the laws and regulations.


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