“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ ICC to open full-blown investigation in settlements, 2014 Gaza war

  • Background:  Palestine in The Hague: justice, geopolitics, and the International Criminal Court.” Global Governance.

❷ Abbas instructs Washington delegate to intensify work in US
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Erekat: No negotiations until Jerusalem decision is dropped
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Minister Abu Shahla meets UNRWA operations chief in Gaza
❸ Israel detains 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli navy detains five Gaza fishermen, seizes their boats
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ICC  TO  OPEN  FULL-BLOWN  INVESTIGATION  IN  SETTLEMENTS,  2014  GAZA  WAR
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 9, 2018 ―  The International Criminal Court in The Hague is planning on investigating Israeli leaders over Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem and West Bank, as well as the 2014 aggression on Gaza titled ‘Operation Protective Edge.’
___According to a report by Channel 10 Monday evening, the Israeli National Security Council warned Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the international court is planning on opening an investigation later this year into the 2014 war with Hamas, as well settlements in the West Bank.
___Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, have opened cursory examinations in both matters . . .    MORE . . .    ..

Note: Article gives detailed background information about the ICC’s decision.

Bosco, David.
“PALESTINE  IN  THE  HAGUE:  JUSTICE,  GEOPOLITICS,  AND  THE  INTERNATIONAL  CRIMINAL  COURT.”
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, vol. 22, no. 1, Jan-Mar2016, pp. 155-171. On 1 April 2015, Palestine joined the international criminal court. The 123rd ICC member state, Palestine immediately became its most controversial. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described its accession as a “political, hypocritical, and cynical maneuver.” The United States expressed regret about the court’s involvement, calling any ICC scrutiny of Israel a “tragic irony.” For their part, Palestinian officials insisted that they seek “justice, not vengeance,” and major human rights groups hailed the move as a step toward potential accountability for all parties.
[. . . .] Palestine did not appear on the court’s docket until early 2009. The catalyst was Israel’s 2008−2009 campaign in the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Cast Lead. Designed to reduce Hamas’s ability to launch rockets and artillery at Israel, the action resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians. Palestinian officials and some outside observers argued that Israeli forces had committed war crimes. In January 2009, Palestine’s justice minister flew to The Hague and sought an ICC investigation.
[. . . .] The conflict in Gaza that lasted most of July and August 2014 will be a priority for the prosecutor. By providing retroactive jurisdiction, Palestine has allowed the court to consider all events on Palestinian territory after the outbreak of major fighting . . . . The prosecutor will likely focus on several categories of possible crimes by Palestinians and Israelis.
[. . . .] For all the attention paid to the fighting in Gaza, the most dangerous issue for Israeli officials lies elsewhere. Israel’s policy of supporting settlements in the occupied West Bank could place senior Israeli officials in greater legal jeopardy than its conduct in Gaza. Israel’s settlements in territory occupied during the 1967 war have been widely described as illegal, including by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. A commission of inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council described settlements as potential war crimes.
[. . . .] Yet international courts have not directly addressed the issue of criminal responsibility for these policies. The Rome Statute lists as a war crime “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The ICC’s preliminary examination will likely be the first international judicial inquiry into whether the Israeli promotion of settlements in the Occupied Territories meets this definition [. . . .]  SOURCE . . . 

❷ ABBAS  INSTRUCTS  WASHINGTON  DELEGATE  TO  INTENSIFY  WORK  IN  US
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Jan. 9, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday gave clear instructions to the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to Washington to intensify work in the United State to influence public opinion and increase awareness of the Palestinian cause, chief Palestinian delegate Hussam Zomlot said on Monday.
___He said in a statement, after meeting heads of Palestinian and Arab organizations in Washington, that Abbas stressed the importance of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) general delegation to the US in intensifying efforts with all representatives of the American people and influence public opinion by collaborating with the Palestinian community, the Arab, Islamic and Christian institutions, solidarity groups and civil society organizations in the US.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  EREKAT:  NO  NEGOTIATIONS  UNTIL  JERUSALEM  DECISION  IS  DROPPED
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the PLO  Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that the continued American attempts to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations  are unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership, unless the decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is dropped.
___“The Palestinian leadership will not accept any offers for negotiations unless the American decision on Jerusalem is dropped,” Erakat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on Tuesday.
___Erekat said that US President, Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel dictated removing Jerusalem from any negotiations.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  MINISTER  ABU  SHAHLA  MEETS  UNRWA  OPERATIONS  CHIEF  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 8, 2018 ― Palestinian labor minister Ma’moun Abu Shahla on Monday met with director of UNRWA operations  Matthias Schmale at the headquarters of the ministry in the Gaza Strip and discussed with him the US decision to freeze funding for the agency.
___Abu Shahla discussed the impacts of the US decision on the UNRWA’s operations and the need for taking serious action by the UN against such US threat.     MORE . . . 
❸ ISRAEL  DETAINS  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  A  14-YEAR-OLD  BOY           Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli forces detained on Tuesday 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, during wide-scale raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
[. . . .] According to a statistic by Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, the total number of Palestinian political prisoners is 6154, with 453 of them held in administrative detention without charge, 311 minors and 59 women.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  NAVY  DETAINS  FIVE  GAZA  FISHERMEN,  SEIZES  THEIR  BOATS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli navy detained on Tuesday five Gaza fishermen and confiscated two fishing boats in al-Sudaniya area, northwest of the Gaza Strip, WAFA correspondent said.
___He said that the Israeli navy opened fire at the fishermen and their boats as they were sailing four nautical miles in the sea of al-Sudaniya area . . .    MORE . . . 

“IN  JERUSALEM,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

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