clear
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 11:03PM

Palestinians mull war crime charges against Israel

By The Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking written pledges of support from all political factions, including rival Hamas, before making any attempt to press for possible war crimes charges against Israel, senior officials said Thursday.<br /> <br /> Abbas hesitated in the past because such a step would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could put him on a collision course with the United States.<br /> <br /> But with nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza in the past 24 days, according to health officials, Abbas is under growing domestic pressure to turn to the International Criminal Court to try to make a case against Israel.<br /> <br /> Israeli officials have said Israel is acting in self-defense by targeting Hamas' military arsenal and rocket-launching sites and have accused Hamas of using Gaza civilians as human shields.<br /> <br /> Earlier Thursday, the U.N.'s top human rights official accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes in the current Gaza fighting.<br /> <br /> U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Hamas is committing war crimes by firing rockets from heavily populated areas and storing them in schools and hospitals.<br /> <br /> She said Israel has defied international law in Gaza by attacking civilian areas with schools, hospitals, homes and U.N. facilities.<br /> <br /> "None of this appears to me to be accidental," Pillay said of Israel at a news conference in Geneva to mark the end of her six-year term. "They appear to be defying - deliberate defiance of - obligations that international law imposes on Israel."<br /> <br /> She also criticized Israel's strikes on Gaza's power plant, sewer systems and water wells as part of a similar pattern of destruction during the 2009 Gaza war.<br /> <br /> Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor declined comment.<br /> <br /> Hamas has portrayed its rocket fire on Israel as resistance to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.<br /> <br /> With the Palestinian casualties in Gaza mounting, leaders of political factions in the West Bank have repeatedly urged Abbas to seek Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court.<br /> <br /> "We have been pressing him for a long time," independent legislator Mustafa Barghouti said Thursday.<br /> <br /> At a meeting with political leaders on Tuesday, Abbas asked participants to sign a declaration of support for such a move, said Barghouti, adding that everyone signed.<br /> <br /> The final decision, on when to seek accession, would still be up to Abbas, according to other participants who spoke on condition of anonymity because there were discussing internal deliberation.<br /> <br /> They said Abbas also told them he would not move forward without written consent from Hamas and Islamic Jihad because they could expose themselves to possible war crimes charges.<br /> <br /> Abbas' Fatah movement wrote on its official Facebook page that Abbas is seeking broad consensus, in part because of the potential repercussions for Hamas.<br /> <br /> "Regarding the question a large number of brothers and sisters, `why dont you go to the International Criminal Court,' the leadership of the State of Palestine will sign the Rome Statute all the way to the International Criminal Court after ... the approval of all the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, because this option is a double-edged sword," Fatah wrote.<br /> <br /> Hamas officials in Gaza were not immediately available for comment.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 4 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 4 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )