There has been much talk recently about the possibility that the Palestinian Authority will take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer charges of war crimes.
While there has been no end of threats from the Palestinian side regarding the ICC, recent reports suggest that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has blocked any attempts to push for the prosecution of Israel for war crimes in Gaza, according to a Palestinian official.
Hasan Khreisha, who is the second-deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, told the Ma’an news agency that the PA’s decision to join the ICC has been halted by Abbas in order to try to impose his latest “peace” initiative on the Jewish State.
Peace for the likes of Abbas and Hamas, with which he is in a unity government, basically means “give in to Palestinian demands or else.” This is a negotiating tactic unprecedented in the civilized world, and is aimed at cynically forcing Israel to comply with their agenda.
According to Khreisha, “President Abbas decided not to sue Israel at the ICC unless his new initiative fails to resume peace talks with Israel.” Despite the fact that all of the major Palestinian factions have pushed Abbas to take Israel to the ICC, Kreisha added that, “so far no practical steps have been taken in that direction.”
It goes without saying that if the Palestinians thought they would be successful in an ICC bid against Israel they would most likely have gone for it — but there’s one major problem. If Israelis are war criminals what does that make the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza like Hamas?
After all, if you consider the reality of the recent Gaza war on the ground, it was the Palestinians who began to bombard Israel indiscriminately with thousands of short and long-range missiles. It has now been proved that a large number of them were fired from within densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas knew full well that Israel would be forced to retaliate, with the resulting collateral damage that would then be used as a propaganda tool.
Israel, on the other hand, despite the difficult challenges it faced, did what it could to avoid civilian casualties on the Palestinian side. It used airdrops of leaflets warning citizens to vacate areas that were to be bombed, sent text messages and even made phone calls to warn of imminent retaliatory strikes.
It seems that the Palestinian Authority, if not Hamas, is wise enough to realize that any bid against Israel in the international arena could — and most likely would — backfire badly. Abbas understands that the actions of Hamas are de-facto crimes, if for no other reason than the fact that the rockets had no guidance systems and therefore automatically placed Israeli civilians at risk.
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 terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law.