Ample evidence to take Israel to ICC

Related: ▣ FAQ ▣ Palestine Statehood Bid | Category Statehood

PressTV – Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:14AM GMT

Interview with Valentine Azarov, Al-Haq representative

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is reportedly processing the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s demand for the UN’s recognition of Palestine as an independent member state.

Acting PA Chief Mahmud Abbas presented the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the statehood proposal on Friday during the UN General Assembly’s 66th annual session in New York.

Press TV has interviewed Valentine Azarov with Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, to discuss the Palestinian application.

Press TV: There are fears that the refugees are now going to be a forgotten issue, who will represent them and what is the legal standpoint of the diaspora in all of this UN recognition bid?

Azarov: I think it is important to start by recalling that the legal situation with regards to representation of Palestinian people, as it exists right now, will not be changed by the UN initiatives. At the moment there are two main bodies representing the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is non-state actor; transnational organization recognizes the liberation movement at the UN represents all Palestinians everywhere for the purpose of their exercise of right to self determination including the right of return to the currently internationally recognized territory of Israel.

The state of Palestine, which is in fact a government in exile, the international relations of the state of Palestine continues to be conducted by the PLO, is representing of course the population of the OPT, the West Bank including East Jerusalem (Al Quds) and the Gaza Strip. This situation is not modified in any way by the substitution or the upgrade at the UN of the Palestinian representation. The refugees would not be disenfranchised.

Press TV: So let’s talk about what will be upgraded then. For example, with UN recognition, will there be a chance for the Palestinian representative to go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) when Israel invades the West Bank for example?

Azarov: The basis for going to the International Criminal Court already exists, there are ongoing violations of international laws that constitute international crimes that the ICC has jurisdiction over. That is irrefutable, there is sufficient material in the hands of prosecutor at the moment that he has received over the last year specially since the Operation Cast lead happened and that indeed has been indicated by him to civil society and international organizations as enough to look into certain cases.

The reason the court has not accepted Palestinian declaration from January 2009 is largely political in fact. The question was indeed Palestine is a state for the purpose of the Rome Statute and the court has not made a decision on that question yet and this is why this is a very important monument to push forward that declaration and also to open up the opportunity for the state of Palestine to become a member of the court to ratify Rome Statute.

Press TV: The Oslo Accord is now widely seen as a delaying tactic by Israel in order to grab more land in the West Bank, this is what commentators consider it. They also breached fishing rights for the Gazans and they have breached the accord as well. Is this UN bid from a legal stand point is also possibly a delaying bid that will delay the rights of the Palestinians to justice and peace in their own land.

Azarov: First of all the Oslo accord as a framework is not law as such, it is an administrative agreement between an occupying power and an occupied population for the administration of the occupied territory. It does not trump or have priority over any international law applicable in the occupied Palestinian territory it has been breached so many times that the current framework that was envisage no longer applies even in practice.


Source and video of the interview can be watched here

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