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 Courtâs 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-Ocampoâs alleged statements and said, according to the PNN:
âInstead 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 âfree adviceâ is counterproductive and renders him complicit in Israelâs violations and war crimes.
There is no legal basis to Mr. Moreno-Ocampoâs 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-Ocampoâs 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
Dr. Ashrawi concluded, âAfter leaving his post, it is indeed disheartening that Mr. Moreno-Ocampo has tainted his record by attempting to find loopholes to accommodate Israelâs 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
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