Jordan, Arab lawyers to take Israel to International court

1. JBA
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordan Bar Association (JBA) plans to lodge a complaint against Israel for alleged “war crimes’’ at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the association’s chief said.اضافة اعلان

Mazen Irshaidat said in a statement that the complaint will be filed with the court through the Arab Lawyers Union (ALU), a Non-Governmental Organization based in Egypt.

Zionist Israel should be held responsible for its crimes against the Palestinian people,” he said in a statement, chastising the “assassination” of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering Israel’s raid on the West Bank town of Jenin last week.

The ICC is an international tribunal seated in The Hague, Netherlands. It is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. However, the court has no jurisdiction over certain countries, like Israel.

Lawyer Mohammad Maharmeh told Jordan News that the complaint is unlikely to carry much weight. “No criminal or judicial investigation by this court can take place in Israel, and any verdict will have no effect on it,’’ he explained.

Although several Israeli officials were convicted in European courts ‘’of no less than 5,200 criminal rulings’’, none of them have been implemented because European courts have no jurisdiction in Israel.

Political analyst Labib Kamhawi said JBA’s stance was in sharp contrast to the ‘’non-position’’ adopted by the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which did not refer to Israel’s evident complicity in Abu Akleh’s killing.

Kamhawi said the varying positions may not culminate in a tangible outcome. However, he added, that it reflects the sentiments of the Jordanian people towards “what is happening in Palestine and this is an honorable stand for the Jordanian legal body to undertake’’.

Hasan Al Momani, a professor of international studies at the University of Jordan, Said the JBA has always played a political role, influenced by different political currents. This time, he pointed out, it reflected public anger ‘’Israel’s violations’’.

Momani said Israel’s violations necessitate serious moves, including action by the UN Security Council. Nevertheless, he pointed out that America’s attitude in regards to Israel is clear. ‘’It will oppose the transfer of any case against Israel to the ICC,’’ he said.

He said Jordan’s government is unlikely to take any serious moves because it ‘’is aware of the heavy political cost this matter will bear on its relations’’ with both Israel and the US.

Irshaidat, JBA’s president, told Jordan News that the first step is for the Palestinian side to present evidence and documents implicating Israel in Abu Akleh’s shooting so that it would be presented to the ICC prosecutor.

He said ALU is pursuing the matter. ALU is a member of UNESCO, the Human Rights Organization, and other renowned international bodies.

Irshaidat said many complaints were lodged against Israel with the ICC, but it was later found that Israel was not a member of the court, thus no action was taken against it. He pointed out that ALU is contemplating to lodge complaints against Israeli government officials, such as the premier, defense and interior ministers chief of staff, and others.

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