The Palestinian Authority Is Launching a New Lawfare Campaign

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy