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Hamas signs Palestinian application for ICC membership
Published Saturday 23/08/2014 (updated) 25/08/2014 11:37
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A woman walks up to the offices of the International Criminal Court in
the Hague on July 1, 2002 (ANP/AFP/File Robin Utrecht)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas has signed a proposal for the Palestinians to apply to join the International Criminal Court at which legal action could be taken against Israel, a senior official of the movement said Saturday.

"Hamas signed the document which (Palestinian) president (Mahmoud Abbas) put forth as a condition that all factions approve, before he goes to sign the Rome Statute, which paves the way for Palestine's membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC)," Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Facebook page.

The Palestinian declaration came after two days of talks in Qatar between Abbas and Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal, whose movement is the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP that the Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful force in Gaza, "is currently the only Palestinian faction that has not signed" the document.

"They are studying the possibility of signing," he added.

According to Erakat, "the document calls on president Abbas to sign the Rome Statute to join the ICC, and indicates all the signatories assume responsibility for this membership."

Israel has signed but not ratified the Rome Statute.

Based in The Hague, the ICC opened its doors in 2003 and is the world's first independent court set up to try the worst crimes, including genocide and war crimes.

Since the July 8 outbreak of the latest war in and around Gaza, Israel and Hamas have accused each other of war crimes amid a massive Israeli assault that has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and left more than 100,000 homeless.

68 Israelis have also died, all but four of whom were soldiers.

Joining the ICC would also expose Palestinian factions to possible prosecution.

The Palestinians had in 2009 asked the ICC's prosecutor's office to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

There has so far been no probe as Palestine is not an ICC member state and its status as a state is uncertain in some international institutions.

However, the Palestinians in late November 2012 obtained the status of observer state at the United Nations, opening the door for an ICC investigation.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
23/08/2014 17:36
I support Palestinian's cause, but time & time some or the othe delay in prosecuting Israel is unacceptable. Palestinians shoud only publicise their intentions once they are ready to proceed. Israeli govt thinks that Palestinians are bluffing thus don't take them seriously.

2 ) Mel / USA
23/08/2014 18:38
All resistance militia's reacting to state-sponsored,sovereign-military OFFENSIVE attacks(especially such hugely disproportionate ones),militarist occupation,encroachment,collective punishment(as Israel's)are MORE valid than their oppressors,in deserving intrnl. protection & justice.Or were the Nuremberg Trials just kangaroo justice too?If there're any kangaroo's jumping around intrnl laws/conventions, it's USG. If USG hadn't patroned 67yrs of the Zionist(ZS)State,Palestine WOULD be SOVEREIGN!

3 ) Jeff / USA
23/08/2014 18:52
I support all of you Palestinians in bringing Israel to justice before the ICC. They need to pay for the long list and many years of crimes they have committed against people living in Palestine -- Arabs, Christians and non-right wing Zionist Jews alike.

4 ) Marnie / israel
23/08/2014 20:00
Move forward and don't back down; "But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream."

5 ) Tobias / USA
23/08/2014 20:43
* HAMAS SIGNING a proposal for Palestinians to join the ICC, which prohibits both targeting civilians and using civilians as human-shields, * PAVES THE WAY FOR LEGAL ACTION to be taken * AGAINST PALESTINIANS, more than against Israel.

6 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/08/2014 20:47
Final proof of the true desperation of Hamas leaders. These war criminals are the guys who ordered the blowing up of Israeli buses and restaurants and shopping malls - all of them serious war crimes that killed hundreds of innocents. It will be interesting to see Khaled Meshaal, Haniya and Deff (if he's alive like they claim) in the dock. There is no doubt in any human rights organization that Hamas has committed war crimes - and Hamas leaders are now making it easier to put themselves on trial.

7 ) ben Zalman / USA
24/08/2014 08:54
Hamas joins the ICC... Now Ive seen it all. If this doesn't show that the UN has become nothing but a sick joke I don't know what will.

8 ) Altamash / India
24/08/2014 10:06
The zionist regime must be brought to justice for the crime against humanity.

9 ) BillyC / UK
24/08/2014 14:47
Is this a joke? The same people who fire rockets indiscriminately into Israel, murder anyone who disagrees with them as so-called 'collaborators' and use their own children as human shields, are looking to have Israel prosecuted. Be careful what you wish for, as joining ICC opens YOU up for prosecution, not just Israel.

10 ) Kindle / Uk
24/08/2014 17:59
It's very easy to file a case at the ICC, assuming the Rome Statute has been signed (& accepted). Once the documentation is complete, a case can be filed the very next day. Personally I'd sign the Rome Statute now, just in case I wanted to file later on. #6 Brian, sorry to disappoint you, but a case could only be brought from 2012; when Palestine became a state at the UN. Anything that went before that won't count. Operation Protective Edge is current though & the recent rampage through W Bank.

11 ) Mel / USA
24/08/2014 19:59
Bravo! If any have a claim vs. 70yrs of fundamentalist-Zionist hatred,bigotry &racism,it's PALESTINIAN Muslims &Christians,united!Not to mention US-state sponsored 60 yrs of Israel's state war crimes patroned by USG &its UK/EU politico-ideo-dogs!The most LOGICAL,RESPECT-FOR-RULE-of-LAW move now,is THROW Israel's butt out of UN &any international committee,'til ISRAEL DUMPS its Zionist insanity & returns to Jewish humanity!"Remember & Never Forget"Israel.Or,we'll forget & NEVER REMEMBER Israel!

12 ) Maureen / Australia
24/08/2014 23:00
#6 You sound upset at the prospect of ICC for your warmongering Zionist military junta, Brian Cohen. Your gutless Israei military junta have "precision bombs," that have killed approx. 80% civillians, mostly women and children in Gaza!

13 ) Maureen / Australia
24/08/2014 23:05
#7 Ben Zalman The "sick joke" is your USA government on a dog leash... USA taxpayers are treated like dogs by Israel

14 ) rosemerry / france
24/08/2014 23:51
Look at no 6 and 7- hardly unbiased commenters. Have you noticed anything in the last 7 years, Mr Cohen? NO buses etc but thousands of murders, arrests, house destructions, besides the "wars" on Gaza, all carried out by the "IDF" Truces kept by Hamas, broken by Israel (2008, 2012,2014), massive bombing of people with no defence. Hundreds of innocent Israelis killed? LOL 28 killed by Hamas rockets since 2000-2 per year. Check it out.

15 ) Jeff / USA
25/08/2014 02:09
Brian Cohen and Ben Zalman, of course the Palestinians are desperate...they've been massacred, oppressed and occupied by your evil Zionist herors for over 65 years? Anyone that has been subjected to what they've had to deal with would try to fight for their basic human rights. You guys try to paint them as terrorists, but terrorism was created by Israel...go back and review interviews that Menachem Begin did as leader of the Irgun when he stated that he brought terrorism to the whole world.

16 ) Antonio Saybe / Honduras
25/08/2014 03:29
Most of the false comments come from zionists. Since you are not humans, you have no heart to see what is really going in the land of Jesus Christ.

17 ) Make my / day
25/08/2014 05:43
Hamas has signed a proposal for the Palestinians to apply to join the International Criminal Court - Yep, they are digging their own graveyard and signed the death certificate. The crimes Hamas committed are surmounting any allegations Israel have done. I'll send a sympathy card.

18 ) Bob / USA
01/09/2014 18:09
Those who say that joining the ICC also opens up Hamas to prosecution are correct. If I were a Hamas leader I would welcome and ICC prosecution of myself over this latest Israeli assault on Gaza. The Israelis often cite civilian deaths as "unavoidable collateral damage" when 80% of the people they kill are civilians. Hamas managed its resistance in such a way that over 95% of the people they killed were IDF troops. No army in modern times has managed to do better. So bring on the prosecution

19 ) Moses / USA
05/09/2014 21:51
Israelis have committed so many atrocities against humanity and hatred towards the Zionist state is globally festering. Soon, a nation will rise that will obliterate this inhumane race. The ancient Egyptians, the Christians, the Spanish, the Nazis and the Ukrainian hunted them down for they saw evil in their soul. However, this nation on the rise will actually put an end to this evil and finish what those couldn't finish. Jews seems to not learn from their past...
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