ICC asked to open war crimes investigation of Hamas leader

[JURIST] The Shurat HaDin [advocacy website] of the Israel Law Center announced [press release] on Wednesday that they have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor [official website] to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal [BBC profile]. The request claims Mashaal is criminally liable for the war crime of executions without due process because he "formulated, directs and approves the executions and oversees Hamas' governance of Gaza." Further, the request alleges that on August 22, 2014, Hamas executed 18 so-called collaborators [Jerusalem Post report] who had been convicted of no crime, including a public execution of seven of the collaborators. Meshall currently lives in Qatar, but the Shurat HaDin argues the ICC may find jurisdiction over him because his orders directed the war crimes in Gaza.

In the previous seven weeks rocket attacks between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory have led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians, forcing the UN and the international community to take steps to help resolve the conflict. Earlier this week a group of UN human rights experts including the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression urged stronger protection [JURIST report] for journalists covering conflicts. Last week the UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Makarim Wibisono, on Tuesday formally requested access [JURIST report] to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory to gather first-hand information into the human rights situation in Gaza. Last month the UN Human rights Council appointed three experts [JURIST report] to an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged international humanitarian and human rights law violations committed by both Israelis and Palestinians during the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. In July top Palestinian officials filed a complaint [JURIST report] in the ICC accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza.

 

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