Dragging Israel before the International Criminal Court on accusations of war crimes is a non-starter, said a senior Palestinian official, because the Palestinians themselves are guilty of blatant war crimes.
“The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets,” Ibrahim Khraishi (pictured), the Palestinian ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, told Palestinian Authority TV last week.
By contrast, Khraishi said that Israel had very cleverly adhered to international rules of engagement, so even if the Palestinian death toll is higher, legally Israel is still in the right.
“Many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures,” he explained.
That’s not to say Khraishi has become a legal advocate for Israel. He was careful to also label as war crimes the “[Jewish] settlements, the Judaization [of Jerusalem], the checkpoints,” and so on.
Still, there is no question that Hamas’ assault on the Jewish state is causing a severe headache for those involved in diplomatic and media efforts to delegitimize Israel.