This 1945 file picture shows the interior view of the courtroom of the Nuremberg Trials against Nazi leaders in Nuremberg. (dpa via AP) (dpa via AP)
Germany Nuremberg Trials

“The ICC will act according to a legal plan, according to the ‎legal measures for extradition and prosecution, and there were ‎experiences with this after World War II: the court in Nuremberg and ‎in Tokyo for prosecuting and punishing the Nazis.” 

By Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch

Earlier this month, the pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court ‎‎(ICC) issued a decision granting the ICC jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute ‎Israelis for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against ‎Palestinians in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. ‎

The decision came despite the fact that Israel is not a member of the ICC, and there ‎is no “State of Palestine.” Nevertheless, the PA has been a member of the ICC – a ‎right otherwise reserved for states – since 2015.

The ICC’s decision also opens the ‎possibility of prosecution of Palestinians who have committed such crimes against ‎Israelis.

Praising the ICC’s decision, PA Minister of Justice Muhammad Al-Shalaldeh ‎compared the ICC’s prosecution of Israelis with the Nuremberg prosecution of Nazi ‎leaders.‎

“The International ‎‎[Criminal] Court (has full authority for judging and extradition. The ‎Israeli settlers, or the Israeli war criminals… There will be a list of ‎names that may begin- We can investigate the [Israeli] prime ‎minister… The ICC will act according to a legal plan, according to the ‎legal measures for extradition and prosecution, and there were ‎experiences with this after World War II: the court in Nuremberg and ‎in Tokyo for prosecuting and punishing the Nazis,” Al-Shalaldeh stated February 7 on the ‘Palestine This Morning” program on official PA TV.‎

PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh also welcomed the ICC’s decision and its “ruling” ‎that “Palestine is a state.” He furthermore exploited the opportunity to ‎whitewash all Palestinian terror against Israel as mere “defense.”

Asked if he would ‎welcome an ICC probe into the crimes of Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas, ‎Shtayyeh said: “Of course not,” claiming that “Palestinians have never been on the ‎attack,” but “always on the defense,” he told a France 24 interviewer. ‎

“We are very happy to see the decision by the ICC… ‎Not only because of the opening of the investigation but also the court ‎has ruled that the Palestinian territory is the West Bank, including East ‎Jerusalem as well as Gaza and that Palestine is a state! … I think it is ‎very important that the whole world will realize the crimes that have ‎been committed by Israel,” he said. ‎

The journalist asked: “But this could also imply possible crimes by ‎Palestinian groups, especially Hamas. Would you also welcome that?”‎

“Of course not,” Shtayyeh responded. “I mean, by all means we will leave it to ‎the court to decide in which direction to take the investigation, but by all ‎means, Palestinians have never been on the attack. Palestinians have ‎always been on the defense.”‎

The head of the PLO’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, called the ‎ICC’s decision “a national achievement saturated in the blood of the Martyrs, the ‎wounded, and the prisoners,” and called on the ICC to hurry,” the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported on February 6.‎

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA Minister of Justice earlier admitted that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel.‎

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