Hamas Welcomes ICC Probe of Israeli ‘War Crimes’

January 17, 2015  

Hamas on Saturday welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an inquiry into possible “war crimes” committed by Israel against Palestinian Arabs.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, said the Islamist group “appreciated the move”, according to Reuters.

“What is needed now is to quickly take practical steps in this direction and we are ready to provide (the court) with thousands of reports and documents that confirm the Zionist enemy has committed horrible crimes against Gaza and against our people,” he said in a statement.

The ICC’s announcement came on Friday, and it followed the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) joining of the court earlier this month, allowing it to lodge war crimes and crimes against humanity complaints against Israel as of April.

At the same time, the PA also recognized the ICC’s jurisdiction retroactively, to cover the period during last summer’s war in Gaza.

Hamas had originally praised the ICC move as a “step in the right direction”, but later attacked PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas over it, saying he has no authority to apply to the ICC.

Legal rights experts have said that having the ICC enter the fray of the Israeli-Arab conflict will ultimately harm the PA, Hamas, and the ICC itself – not Israel. 

In a recent interview, the PA’s envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts – because Palestinian Arab terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.

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