No Accountability for War Crimes in Israel-Palestine Issue. Why?
The conflict is the most intense outbreak of violence since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war.
The latest outbreak of conflict in Gaza and Israel is escalating rapidly. At the time of writing, at least 192 Palestinians are , including 58 children. Ten Israelis are reported dead, including two children.
Hamas is firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. Some cause casualties, while many are intercepted by Israeli anti-missile systems or fall short of the border. Israel is conducting aerial and artillery bombardment of Palestinian targets.
In recent days, it has destroyed a building that housed the and Al Jazeera offices in Gaza, and levelled multiple Palestinian homes.
The question of Palestinian statehood and the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the of the international legal system. The failure of the international community to bring about a resolution in the decades-long conflict reflects the highly politicised nature of international law.
Even though the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor into alleged war crimes in the conflict two months ago — and is the current violence for potential crimes — legal accountability will likely remain elusive.
Palestine’s Status in the International Community
Palestine, in contrast, claims a right to statehood but lacks effective statehood.
The is clear — the Palestinian people are entitled to and statehood but they have been living under Israel’s occupation since 1967.
UN Security Council Response
The Security Council met in an emergency session on Sunday, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres an immediate ceasefire and warning of “an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi argued activities violate international law and stand in the way of peace. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki Israel of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and pursuing a policy of apartheid.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, meanwhile, accused Hamas of targeting civilians as a power play against the Palestinian Authority.
The council in this special session. The US, one of five permanent members with veto power, has a track record of in relation to Israel. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was the US was blocking the council from making a statement with “one voice”.
Investigating Alleged War Crimes
Its office of the prosecutor then initiated an into the “situation in Palestine”. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would seek justice for crimes committed against Palestinian and Israeli victims.
The ICC probe will the 2014 war, border clashes in 2018, and Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank. It will also examine whether Hamas and other groups in Gaza have committed war crimes by firing rockets at Israel.
Obstacles to Accountability
Accountability for international crimes is complicated for non-state actors like . attacks on civilian targets undoubtedly violate the laws of war. Yet, Hamas is not acting on behalf of a Palestinian state, nor does the have the capacity to halt its actions.
As for Israel, the American alliance has been a constant obstacle to accountability. However, some important trends are emerging within American Jewish communities and the Democratic Party.
Many American Jews are showing increasing about Netanyahu’s unflinching prosecution of Israel’s conflict with Hamas. Liberal Jewish lobbyists are challenging the Biden administration to oppose Israeli efforts to Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Some prominent Democratic politicians now publicly oppose the position that Israel’s right to self-defence must be asserted by the US, regardless of whether its military actions are proportionate. Senator Bernie Sanders this week:
The fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.
President Joe Biden, for one, has a long-established position in favour of Israel’s right to defend itself.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
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