Did Israeli spy threaten the ICC prosecutor?

By Fr. Shay Cullen

The atrocious Israel bombing with air to ground missiles on a refugee tent camp of displaced Palestinians near Rafah on the Gaza Strip killed at least 45 innocent women, children and men, and seriously wounded hundreds more. It ignited fires and destroyed the camp where thousands of people had fled to escape the Israeli bombing around Rafah, which is on the border with Egypt. This is one more ‘tragic mistake,” as Israel’s government called it, accepting blame that will go down in history as one of the worst of many atrocities committed by Israel in its fanatic and failed effort to eliminate the brutal Hamas killers of 120 Israeli civilians and soldiers on 7 October 2023.

This violent fanatical group, branded a terrorist organization by some Western nations, controlled the Gaza Strip. They mounted a vicious attack against Israeli soldiers, civilian settlements and a music concert on 7 October 2023 and they massacred 120 Israelis and took over 125 hostages back into the Gaza Strip where they hid in hundreds of underground tunnels and fired rockets at Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is held responsible for appeasing Hamas, allowing them to receive cash money from Arab states and being totally unprepared for an attack despite intelligence warnings, according to a BBC documentary.

This latest mass killing by Israel is in addition to the estimated 36,096 Palestinians killed and 81,136 seriously wounded since they retaliated against Hamas.

The Israeli army has blockaded the delivery of food and medical aid and has been accused by South Africa of attempting the genocide of the Palestinian people. That was brought to the International Court of Justice. The court ruled that Palestinians had “plausible rights to protection from genocide-” rights which were at real risk of irreparable damage. These are words which clearly indicate that whatever violent acts of war Israel was doing in Gaza, they could be genocide and the Palestinians had a right to be protected from such genocidal acts.

Netanyahu and his right-wing government seem to brand all Palestinians as Hamas terrorists and deserve to die. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel deny all the charges and condemn the allegations. However, this a great shame on the Israeli people and nation after what the Jewish people suffered in WWII. Not all Israelis agree with the war of retaliation and retribution that is causing enormous grief, suffering and loss to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

As soon as the aerial bombing began in Gaza, many thousands of the members of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace spoke out against the war. They work for a peaceful solution, which many believe to be the adoption of a ‘two-state solution.’  They are proud Jewish people with thousands of supporters and they say the war is “not in their name.” They make it clear that being Jewish does not mean unquestioned support for Israel. They soundly reject all Israeli government supporters that try to brand any critic of Israel’s policies and action as being antisemitism.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is considering the request of the prosecutor, Karim Khan, to issue arrest warrants against Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders. They are facing allegations of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Hamas leaders, the men named in the BBC report are Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Mohammed Deif, the commander of the Qassam Brigades, its military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau. Mohammed Deif rejected the allegations claiming that they are the victims of Israeli aggression. They said that the prosecutor was “equating the victim with the executioner.”

Netanyahu and his defense minister said it is outrageous to equate them with Hamas. Gallant said that Israel is not a party to the court and does not recognize its authority.

Karim Khan, chief ICC prosecutor and British King’s Council, as reported by the BBC on 21 May said: “No foot soldier, no commander, no civilian leader – no one – can act with impunity.” The law, he says, cannot be applied selectively. If that happens, “we will be creating conditions for its collapse.”

The Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, commented that the ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants indicated “Israel’s rapid decline into a moral abyss.” “The international community is signaling to Israel that it can no longer maintain its policy of violence, killing and destruction without accountability,” the B’Tselem spokesperson said.

In 2015, the previous chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, began investigations on human rights violations and violence in Palestine and Gaza and she allegedly came under pressure from various sources to drop the investigation and was approached by Yossi Cohen, the chief of Israeli Intelligence known as Mossad.

The Guardian newspaper reported on 28 May 2024 that ICC officials revealed that Cohen said to Fatou Bensouda: “You should help us and let us take care of you. You don’t want to be getting into things that could compromise your security or that of your family.”

The Guardian also revealed that the Mossad chief had pressured Bensouda not to go ahead with the investigation into the allegations of rights violations in Palestine at different times.

It was allegedly part of a 10-year campaign to undermine the credibility of the court and scare and intimidate. The tactics failed and resulted in the situation today where arrest warrants are pending against Netanyahu and his defense minister, much to the shock of the Israeli establishment and their backers in the United States and Europe.

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