World
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:46
Israel, US Team Up to Sabotage ICC War Crimes Investigation
TEHRAN (FNA)- The United States and Israel are reportedly coordinating a joint campaign against the International Criminal Court (ICC) as both face potential war crimes charges at The Hague.

According to Israel’s Channel 13 news, an Israeli delegation led by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz was in Washington on Thursday and Friday to discuss with senior US officials the ICC’s possible investigation into war crimes committed by the Israeli regime in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Hague’s pre-trial chamber is currently debating whether the ICC has jurisdiction to hear war crimes cases against Israel for actions committed in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel and the US have both refused to sign up to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to be the only global tribunal trying the world's worst crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Both Tel Aviv and Washington have claimed that they have credible legal systems that can properly adjudicate human rights violations and there is no need for ICC intervention.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has backed Israel in its battle against the court. The Palestinian Authority joined it in 2015.

The ICC has to accept briefs on Israel's behalf from Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Uganda, Brazil and Australia on the question of jurisdiction. The briefs are expected to be filed by March 16. Canada has also told the ICC it opposes war crimes suits against Israel.

The trip by the Israeli delegation was timed to coincide with the ICC’s decision to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity by the US in Afghanistan.

“The appeals chamber considers it appropriate to... authorize the investigation,” presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski said at the court in The Hague on Thursday.

He said prosecutors’ preliminary examination in 2017 had found reasonable grounds to believe war crimes were committed in Afghanistan and that the ICC has jurisdiction.

The court upheld an appeal by prosecutors against a pretrial chamber's rejection in April last year of Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's request to open a probe in Afghanistan.

In 2006, the ICC's prosecutors opened a preliminary probe into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Asian nation since 2003.

In 2017, prosecutor Bensouda asked judges to allow a full-blown probe, not only into Taliban and Afghan government personnel but also international forces, US troops and members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Bensouda's move angered Washington, which in April last year revoked the Gambian-born chief prosecutor's visa as part of broader restrictions on ICC staff probing American or allied personnel.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton warned in 2018 that the US would arrest ICC judges if the court pursued an Afghan probe.

The ICC decision, which came days after the US agreed to pull its troops from the long-running conflict, opens the way for prosecutors to launch a full investigation, despite Washington’s opposition.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other international rights bodies on Thursday hailed the decision to uphold the prosecutions' appeal.

The US invaded Afghanistan to overthrow a ruling Taliban regime in 2001. American forces have since remained bogged down in the country through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed, along with unknown tens of thousands of Afghan troops, Taliban militants and Afghan civilians.

America has spent more than $1 trillion on fighting in Afghanistan.

Fighting has continued ever since -- last year more than 3,400 civilians were killed and almost 7,000 injured, according to data provided by UN agencies.

Over 100,000 Afghans have also been killed or injured since 2009, when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom top
Rice Cultivation in Central Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Cultivation of rice has begun in the Southern province of Khuzestan. The photo depicts paddy fields in the city of Sedeh Lenjan, Isfahan province, Iran. [PHOTOS]
COVID-19: Living in Age of Social Distancing

TEHRAN (FNA)- As countries around the world continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic and how to safely reopen after lockdowns, public and private spaces are changing, in some cases dramatically. [PHOTOS]
France: Nokia Employees Protest Job Cuts in Paris

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of employees of the Nokia site of Lannion protested in Paris against planned job cuts announced by the Finnish telecommunications group. [VIDEO]
Serbia: Tear Gas Flies at Belgrade's Mass Protest

TEHRAN (FNA)- Thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police in Belgrade for the second night in a row on Wednesday during anti-government protests sparked by coronavirus measures. Protesters began gathering in front of the National Assembly where some threw projectiles at riot police who replied with tear gas. [VIDEO]
Confirmed Worldwide COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 552,000

TEHRAN (FNA)- Globally, more than 552,000 have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, while the number of confirmed infections has surpassed 12.1 million and more than 7 million people have recovered. [PHOTOS]
Survivors of Boko Haram on Living with Trauma

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 60,000 Nigerians live in Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon after fleeing from Boko Haram. Many have PTSD and other mental health conditions because of what they endured. [PHOTOS]
Western Humanitarianism at the OPCW Is Hypocritical

TEHRAN (FNA)- Western efforts to blame Syria for alleged chemical attacks in 2017 have led to a new action by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Tokyo's Daily Coronavirus Cases Hit New Record of 243

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of daily new coronavirus infections in Tokyo reached a new single-day record of 243 on Friday, Gov. Yuriko Koike said, marking the second consecutive day of over 200 new cases in the capital.
Iran, Russia Discuss Bilateral Ties, Regional Developments

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazzem Jalali and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in a meeting in Moscow discussed mutual cooperation and the latest developments in the Middle East region.
Yemen Vows Retaliation After Saudi Arabia Destroys Civilian Vessels

TEHRAN (FNA)- The spokesman for Yemen’s Armed Forces censured Saudi Arabia for waging a war against the impoverished Arab country over destruction of two civilian vessels in the strategic Red Sea, vowing that Yemeni troops and allied fighters will respond to the act of aggression.
UN Chief: COVID-19 Could Force 45 mln into Poverty in LatAm, Caribbean

TEHRAN (FNA)- The COVID-19 pandemic could push 45 million people from the middle classes into poverty in already economically troubled Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations said on Thursday.
Deputy FM: Iran Not Surprised by Western Concerns over Strategic Ties with China

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Gholamreza Ansari said it is typical of the western powers to show concern over Tehran's strategic cooperation with Beijing.
Iran to Retaliate Once Foreign Hand Proven in Natanz Incident

TEHRAN (FNA)- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said it is early to talk on the cause of the recent blast at Natanz nuclear facility, and warned that Tehran would show severe reaction if it is proven that foreigners were involved in the incident.
Sources Say UK Has Opted Out of EU Coronavirus Vaccine Programme

TEHRAN (FNA)- The UK government has rejected the chance to join the European Union’s coronavirus vaccine programme due to concerns over “costly delays”, according to sources.
German Ministers Rebuff US Invitation to Attend G7

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two key German government ministers have declined an American invitation to attend a G7 meeting in Washington, Der Spiegel news magazine quoted German and US government circles as saying on Thursday.