Dr. Ashrawi on Former Chief ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo’s Comments on Illegal Israeli Settlements

img 9765 cr2It was recently reported in the “Jerusalem Post” that former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Louis Moreno-Ocampo allegedly claimed that the Israeli High Court’s rulings could safeguard Israel from being prosecuted for war crimes, and in an interview with the “Times of Israel,” he praised the Israeli Foreign Ministry document claiming that the settlements are legal.

In response, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Mr. Moreno-Ocampo’s alleged statements and said:

“Instead of defending international law and ensuring compliance, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo is handing out advice to Israel on how to circumvent the ICC and how to adopt evasive tactics to avoid prosecution; this kind of “free advice” is counterproductive and renders him complicit in Israel’s violations and war crimes.

There is no legal basis to Mr. Moreno-Ocampo’s claims.  International human rights law and international humanitarian law are very clear— it is enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Wall, and the UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980) that all settlements are illegal.

Contrary to Mr. Moreno-Ocampo’s beliefs, the Israeli High Court is not internationally accepted.  It has never been the embodiment of integrity, and it is notorious for serving the interests of the occupation at the expense of the Palestinian people, their lands and rights.  If Israel has nothing to hide, it should join the international community and ratify the Rome Statute.”

Dr. Ashrawi concluded, “After leaving his post, it is indeed disheartening that Mr. Moreno-Ocampo has tainted his record by attempting to find loopholes to accommodate Israel’s flagrant war crimes.

We will remain undeterred in our efforts to pursue all diplomatic and legal channels to hold Israel accountable at the ICC and other multinational organizations and agencies.”