Resources updated between Monday, December 29, 2014 and Sunday, January 04, 2015
January 2, 2015
"The Palestinian UN observer mission on Friday delivered to UN headquarters the signed documentation joining the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and 17 other international treaties.
The chief Palestinian observer, Riyad Mansour, confirmed the handover to reporters at the United Nations."
January 1, 2015
December 31, 2014
Hamas operatives whose names were not included in the Palestinian lists of fatalities in Operation Protective Edge
1. During the examination of the names of Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge carried out by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), 50 names of terrorists were identified, all of whom were Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives, who did not appear on the various Palestinian lists of fatalities issued by entities affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (for the nature of the various lists, see below).
2. In the ITIC's assessment, the dead terrorists whose names were not included on the various Palestinian lists fall into several categories: bodies of terrorists that remained in Israeli territory after clashes with IDF forces; bodies that remained buried in tunnels that were blown up or under the ruins of buildings that were attacked by the IDF; bodies of terrorists who died of their injuries in hospitals and bodies that could not be identified during the operation and when the lists were published. Therefore, the ITIC believes that the 50 names that it has identified are only a partial list and that there are still many other terrorist operatives whose names were not included on the various lists of fatalities.
3. Prominent among the fatalities whose names were not included on the various Palestinian lists are operatives who belonged to elite units of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Al-Nukhba and the naval commando). Those missing from the Palestinian lists include, among others, four operatives in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades naval commando who were killed in Israeli territory while infiltrating the area of Kibbutz Zikim by sea (July 8, 2014). Also missing from the Palestinian lists are 10 Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives killed in Israeli territory while infiltrating the area of Kibbutz Nir-Am (July 21, 2014). This indicates that Hamas deliberately refrains from including the names of terrorist operatives whose bodies are in Israeli hands (nearly 20) in the lists of fatalities in Operation Protective Edge. This despite the fact that in its affiliated media channels and social networks, Hamas has publicized specific information about the dead in Kibbutz Zikim and Nir-Am and the circumstances of their deaths (see Appendix A).
4. The exclusion of many names of operatives - mainly Hamas operatives - on the Palestinian lists of fatalities, and Hamas's failure to issue a comprehensive and up-to-date list of fatalities, stem from Hamas's policy of concealment, which is designed to serve the political, propaganda and lawfare campaign against Israel. On the other hand, Hamas makes internal use of the deaths of operatives whose names are not included in the various official and unofficial lists, by publishing detailed information about the dead and the circumstances of their deaths. The purpose is to please the families of the dead, glorify Hamas's military capabilities and establish the myth of the "victory" over Israel (see Appendices A and B).
December 30, 2014
"Many months and innumerable headlines in the making, the Palestinians' bid to impose terms for statehood upon Israel via the United Nations ended in embarrassing failure on Tuesday night, when the Security Council rejected Resolution S/2014/916. The US didn't even have to wield its veto.
"Their defeat was unexpected and stinging. Shortly before the vote, the Palestinians claimed - and Israeli officials confirmed - that nine countries intended to support the resolution, which would have constituted the necessary majority and forced the US veto. But come the moment of truth, Nigeria surprisingly abstained. Pushing a bid for a solution to the conflict within a year and a full Israeli withdrawal within three, PA President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinians found themselves one vote short.
"Expect politicians and pundits in Israel to spend the next few days debating whether the 8-2 vote, with 5 abstentions, was a disaster, underlining the country's increasing international isolation, or a case of brilliant Israeli diplomacy, in that Nigeria could be persuaded to change its position at the last minute. (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the leaders of Rwanda and Nigeria before the vote; Rwanda, less surprisingly, also abstained, as did Britain, South Korea and Lithuania.)
"The Palestinians plainly suffered a dramatic reverse. But Israel cannot claim an equally dramatic victory. Mustering the opposition only of the US and Australia - to a motion that was designed to impose terms that Israel has made plain it cannot accept, submitted by a Palestinian leadership that is currently part of a Hamas-backed unity government - hardly suggests widespread international empathy for Israel's concerns..."
"The U.S. State Department sharply criticized on Monday the Palestinian plan to submit a draft resolution at the UN Security Council, calling for an end to the occupation and the creation of a state by 2017.
"The move 'is not constructive, sets arbitrary deadlines and fails to account for Israel's security needs,' the State Department said.
"The U.S. State Department announcement comes after Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a final attempt to delay the submission of a Palestinian resolution to the United Nations Security Council.
"Abbas told Kerry that he was determined to go ahead with the resolution, despite the international pressure on him, and that he wanted the earliest possible vote.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also referred to the Palestinian initiative during a meeting on Monday with the Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who is currently visiting Israel.
"'We expect the entire international community, at least its responsible members, to strongly oppose this dictate to the UN and the Security Council. What we need is direct negotiations and not dictated terms,' Netanyahu said..."
December 29, 2014
"A DOZEN years after its creation, the International Criminal Court is foundering. So far it has brought just 21 cases in eight countries, all of them in Africa. Only two have resulted in convictions - of relatively obscure Congolese rebel leaders...
The most horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated in the world in the past decade - in North Korea, Syria and Sri Lanka, among other places - remain outside the ICC's reach.
Worse, in two big cases the court bet that it could bring current heads of national governments to trial - and lost. This month the court's chief prosecutor was forced to abandon a case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had been charged with orchestrating a 2007 campaign of ethnic violence. Though Kenya is a member of the court, the government refused to cooperate with the prosecution, making it impossible to gather sufficient evidence.
That embarrassment is matched by the court's failed 2008 indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. An ICC warrant for Mr. Bashir's arrest was issued in 2009, but not only does he remain president of Sudan but he also has traveled to Egypt and Qatar with impunity. A week after the Kenya decision, the ICC prosecutor suspended evidence-gathering in the Darfur region where the crimes occurred."