The Palestinian Authority Is Launching a New Lawfare Campaign

Oct. 29 2021

For the past several years, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas—unwilling to resume either negotiations with Israel or a war of terror—has tried to use international law and institutions to put pressure on Jerusalem. With his efforts at the International Criminal Court (ICC) stalled, he may now have tried to refocus his campaign on the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Alan Baker and Lea Bilke explains:

The International Criminal Court was established in 1998 as an independent judicial body to try individual criminals accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The International Court of Justice is the UN’s principal judicial organ and is entrusted with solving issues of litigation between states as well as issuing advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by UN organs.

Based on their recent statements, Palestinian leaders appear to be considering an appeal to the ICJ in order to question the very legality of Israel’s status and actions in the territories in the light of international law and the Oslo Accords.

The Palestinian leadership alleging before the UN and ICJ that Israel is violating the Oslo Accords would be ironic in light of the long list of fundamental breaches of those accords by the Palestinians, whether by continuing incitement, support for and advocacy of terror, economic boycott, . . . and refusal to resume negotiations.

Their defense and citation of the Oslo Accords are even more ironic in light of their inability or lack of will to honor a host of specific commitments pursuant to the Accords. Such basic violations include Palestinian attempts to alter the status of the territories unilaterally; their active engagement in international diplomacy in violation of their commitments not to be so involved; their accession to international treaties and organizations; [and] their expulsion by the Hamas terror organization from any capability of governing the Gaza Strip.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: ICC, International Law, Lawfare, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia