For the past five years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. Last week, the tables were turned when Jerusalem Institute for Justice (JIJ) CEO Calev Myers, an Israeli lawyer, filed a complaint against the outgoing Hamas leader for war crimes against not only Israelis but Palestinian citizens as well. Ismail Haniyeh was Hamas’s leader for 10 years until a month ago when he left to become the chief policy writer for Hamas.
In 2012, the PA complained that Israel’s plan to build in disputed territory was akin to war crimes and that Israel should be brought before the ICC. Following the conflict in 2014 between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel, the PA has attempted to prosecute Israel at the Hague-based court a number of times. In 2015 and 2016 the Palestinian leadership of both Hamas and Fatah have asked that the court investigate alleged ongoing Israeli war crimes.
JIJ’s complaint filed at the ICC is against Haniyeh. Myers asserts that during the 2014 conflict, Haniyeh encouraged the use of Palestinian men, women and children as “human shields” while calling for ongoing rocket fire into Israeli populations. Myers claims that Haniyeh personally funded these activities, which not only violated international law but human rights as well.
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