ICC Prosecutor sweeps aside arguments made by several highly regarded international lawyers, and seven States who are Parties to the ICC Statute of Rome.
The new Israeli government intends to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank). The media cry out ‘illegal annexation’ but is this a question of annexation? How can one annex what you’re entitled to?
On 5 December 2019 the Office of the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court issued its annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2019. In this report, the Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou
Bensouda, gave a summary of the status of the twelve “situations” under examination by her office. She has indicated strongly that the Office intends to move forward soon to officially investigate Israeli leaders for war crimes and possibly also crimes against humanity relating to the “situation in Palestine”. In our view, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC is making a grave mistake.
In 2018, the State of Israel turned 70, but it has never been fully accepted as a member of the international community. Notwithstanding peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, conflict between Israel and some of its neighbors in the region is looming. And peace between Israel and the Palestinians seems as far away as ever. Why?
On May 20, 2019 we reported that the ICC is considering looking into whether Israel has committed war crimes in its dealings with Palestinians. Now, the ICC is even considering initiating an investigation into the legality of Jewish settlements in the so-called “West Bank”, suggesting that such settlements constitute a war crime against Palestinians. The fact is, but for political motives, the ICC would not even be considering these issues.
In today’s society, there is a prevalent trend when it comes to “equity and justice” as regards the nation of Israel. There is a widespread predisposition against any act or situation involving Israel, which is invariably portrayed in a negative light and all too readily pre-judged as contrary to international law, often with no supporting evidence. Looking at the age-old ties of Israel with the Golan, and considering that the Heights are a strategic necessity for the national defense of Israel, justice would require that Israel’s ancient territory of the Golan be reconstituted under Israeli sovereignty.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has for some time been looking into whether Israeli leaders are potentially guilty of war crimes, i.a. in relation to Israeli settlement policies. To open an investigation into the settlements issue, she needs to decide that ’Palestine‘ is a state for the purposes of the Rome Statute that governs the ICC.
President Trump’s recent proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has attracted much criticism. The prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory is an important foundation of modern international law, but it does not mean that wars of aggression cannot have territorial consequences.
Israel’s borders and territorial scope are a source of seemingly endless debate. Remarkably, despite the intensity of the debates, little attention has been paid to the relevance of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris to resolving legal aspects of the border dispute. Uti possidetis juris is widely acknowledged as the doctrine of customary international…