“Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) figures expressed satisfaction with the majority ruling handed down by a panel of pre-trial ICC judges on February 5, 2021 regarding opening an investigation into the events in “Palestine.” According to the ICC, “Palestine” is considered as a Rome Statue member state, including those territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and therefore the Court can investigate the so-called “crimes” allegedly carried out in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians consider the ruling another achievement, the fruit of their long-term ongoing political, legal and diplomatic activity with the ICC, the international community and various international organizations. Senior Palestinian figures, among them PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, rushed to issued announcements praising the ruling and calling on the chief prosecutor to open an investigation without delay.”
2) At the JCPA, Yossi Kuperwasser asks ‘What Drives the Palestinian Reconciliation and Election Processes?’.
“The elections will not require Hamas to make substantive policy changes, since it will probably not participate in the elections as “Hamas,” but rather a party affiliated with it (as it was in 2006). This way, Hamas may gain limited international legitimacy even without meeting the three conditions previously set forth by the International Quartet (recognition of the State of Israel, the cessation of terrorism, and the acceptance and implementation of the agreements between Israel and the PLO, i.e., the Oslo Accords). There is also the possibility of Hamas joining the PLO as another step in the election process, and this, too, does not require compliance with these conditions since there are still factions in the PLO that also reject the Oslo Accords, notably the PFLP. On the other hand, Hamas integrating into the PLO may serve the movement as a preferred channel for the subsequent takeover of the Palestinian political system, rather than directly through the elections.”
3) A new report from NGO Monitor documents how ‘Europe Funds Fraudulent Child Rights Campaign to Sanction Israel’.
“Palestinian and international NGOs – funded by European governments and working in tandem with UNICEF’s West Bank and Gaza branch (UNICEF-oPt) – have built an extensive campaign, using false charges of abuse of Palestinian children in the effort to trigger sanctions against Israel. A core goal is to have the IDF included on a list of child rights abusers, published annually by the UN Secretary-General as an annex to the report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC).”
4) At the Fathom Journal, Gerald Steinberg analyses the US administration’s decision to re-join the UN Human Rights Council.
“The structure of the UNHRC is largely impervious to change, reflecting the nature of the UN with its 193 member states, and the built-in majority for autocrats, dictatorships – Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela are among the current members. 56 UN states belong to and generally vote with the Organisation of Islamic Countries, including all things that are anti-Israel. Of the five regional groupings which determine the Council’s 47 members (elected for three-year terms), the two largest (African and Asia-Pacific), with a combined 26 seats, follow the OIC position. As a result, agendas and appointments, including the Commissioner and the people who write or oversee the reports, must pass the anti-Israel litmus test. US membership on the Council, as a member of the Western Europe and Others group (WEOG), which has seven seats, will not change this.
The bias is also built into the permanent agenda, specifically Item Seven on ‘the Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,’ ensuring that every quarterly session will include attacks against Israel. No other single issue, conflict or country has its own permanent agenda item, and it is under this framework that the majority of anti-Israel reports and resolutions are adopted. Here again, the ability of the US (joined perhaps by a few courageous allies, depending on the Council’s membership in a particular year) to change this is essentially non-existent.”