PA head Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Israel Law Center believes there are firm-enough legal grounds to prosecute PA head Abbas for war crimes against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

Shurat Hadin (The Israel Law Center), an NGO that combats terrorism through the use of international law, otherwise known as Lawfare, announced on Monday that it has formally requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor open an investigation into war crimes committed by Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas during Operation Protective Edge.

Shurat Hadin has asked the ICC in the past to indict Abbas, but the request was rejected on the grounds that the Palestinian Authority had not joined the ICC.

Shurat Hadin is now trying a new approach. It requested in September that the ICC prosecute Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal for war crimes committed during the summer war against Gaza civilians, pointing to his Jordanian citizenship. Shurat Hadin is now employing the same method with Abbas, filing a compliant against Abbas who is also a Jordanian citizen.

Jordan, unlike the PA, has been a member of the ICC since 2002 and recognizes the court’s jurisdiction over its citizens.

The NGO’s basis for the indictment is reports of war crimes committed by Abbas’s Fatah movement during Operation Protective Edge. The terror group reportedly fired multiple rockets from Gaza at Israeli civilian targets, fighting alongside Hamas against Israel.

Shurat Hadin asserts that Abbas, as head of Fatah, is indirectly, responsible for its actions, as “he is their responsible superior exercising effective command and control over them.”

“Abbas should be immediately investigated and prosecuted for these rocket attacks against Israel,” Shurat HaDin chairwoman Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement. “Shurat HaDin will not allow Fatah to carry out rocket attacks on Israeli population centers, while hypocritically advocating Palestinian membership in the ICC. Abbas falsely believes that alleged crimes against Arabs are the only ones that should be prosecuted.”

Documented Fatah Admission to War Crimes

A  Russian Television (RT) crew visited a Fatah-run rocket-production facility in September, where Fatah is replenishing its depleted weapons cache.

Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, depleted its weapons cache during Operation Protective Edge while taking an active part and fighting alongside Hamas, firing rockets at Israeli civilian targets, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

PMW quotes a masked Fatah terrorist as telling a journalist: “We are preparing and developing rockets in the productions division of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades…following the ceasefire agreement in preparation for the coming battles.

“During the last war, we fired rockets at the Zionist enemy,” the terrorist said. “We have notified the enemy that we have many more [rockets]. We have also successfully developed the K-132 rocket, which is here beside me.”

Abbas himself has hinted at Fatah’s large-scale participation in the recent Gaza war, stating that it had lost 17 times the number of casualties that Hamas did. “The number of martyrs from Hamas during the aggression against Gaza was only 50, while 861 martyrs fell from Fatah,” Abbas said.

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Author: United with Israel Staff