On July 17, 1998 the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into being when 120 countries adopted the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the ICC. The Rome Statute permits non-governmental associations to provide the prosecutor of the ICC with information indicating a violation of the treaty in an area where the court has jurisdiction.
In their effort to pressure Israel to make concessions in the American brokered “peace negotiations,” the Palestinians continuously threaten that if they are not given all that they demand — land, airports, an army and funding — they will seek membership in the ICC. Joining the ICC would allow the Palestinians to file war crimes complaints in the Hague against IDF officers and soldiers. ICC membership for the Palestinians is going to be a devastating game changer and one that Israel cannot simply ignore. Nor can Israel rely on the State Department’s dwindling influence with the Palestinians to fend off this effort. Shurat HaDin has launched a preemptive strategy to combat these attacks.
Shurat HaDin initiated a public campaign focusing on an innovative strategy to deter the Palestinians by letting them know that the ICC’s jurisdiction reaches in all directions and would similarly apply to the Palestinians themselves. As such, victims who were killed or injured in Palestinian terrorist attacks launched from the West Bank and Gaza, could file their own war crimes complaints against PLO and Hamas leaders. Our well‐received media campaign put the Palestinian on notice that the day they dare to become ICC members, we would unleash upon them a tsunami of Israeli war crimes complaints demanding that their leaders be prosecuted. This counter‐threat shall act as a powerful deterrent against the Palestinians moving to join the ICC.
Shurat HaDin filed a war crimes complaint in the Hague against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of Fatah and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal over the issue of Hamas executing 38 Palestinians in Gaza during the summer’s fighting. We challenged the ICC to start an immediate investigation of Hamas and Fatah, noting that both Abbas and Mashaal are Jordanian citizen and the ICC already has jurisdiction over them.