It was recently reported in the Jerusalem Post that former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Louis Moreno-Ocampo, allegedly claimed that the Israeli High Courtâ€™s rulings could safeguard Israel from being prosecuted for war crimes, and, in an interview with Times of Israel, he praised an Israeli Foreign Ministry document which claims that the settlements are legal.In response, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Mr. Moreno-Ocampoâ€™s alleged statements and said, according to the PNN:
â€śInstead of defending international law and ensuring compliance, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo is handing out advice to Israel on how to circumvent the ICC and how to adopt evasive tactics to avoid prosecution; this kind of â€śfree adviceâ€ť is counterproductive and renders him complicit in Israelâ€™s violations and war crimes.
There is no legal basis to Mr. Moreno-Ocampoâ€™s claims. International human rights law and international humanitarian law are very clearâ€” it is enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Wall, and the UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980) that all settlements are illegal.
Contrary to Mr. Moreno-Ocampoâ€™s beliefs, the Israeli High Court is not internationally accepted. It has never been the embodiment of integrity, and it is notorious for serving the interests of the occupation at the expense of the Palestinian people, their lands and rights. If Israel has nothing to hide, it should join the international community and ratify the Rome Statute.â€ť
Dr. Ashrawi concluded, â€śAfter leaving his post, it is indeed disheartening that Mr. Moreno-Ocampo has tainted his record by attempting to find loopholes to accommodate Israelâ€™s flagrant war crimes.
We will remain undeterred in our efforts to pursue all diplomatic and legal channels to hold Israel accountable at the ICC and other multinational organizations and agencies.â€ť
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