Shurat Hadin asks ICC to indict Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on war crimes charges

Shurat Hadin alleges that Mashaal is “liable for Hamas’s war crime of execution without due process”; request uses Hamas leader’s Jordanian citizenship against him, since Jordan is member of ICC.


MashaalKhaled Mashaal
Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal holds a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha on July 23, rejecting a cease-fire in the Gaza battles.. (photo credit:AFP)

The Shurat Hadin civil rights group announced on Wednesday that it has formally requested that the International Criminal Court prosecutor open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal during Operation Protective Edge.

The original basis of the request, filed late Tuesday, was using Mashaal’s Jordanian citizenship against him since Jordan, unlike Israel and “Palestine,” has been a member of the ICC since April 11, 2002 and recognizes its jurisdiction over its citizens.

Shurat Hadin – Legal Action Center’s complaint, or communication, to the ICC prosecutor alleges that Mashaal is “criminally liable for Hamas’s war crime of execution without due process” because he “formulated, directs and approves the executions and oversees Hamas’s governance of Gaza.”

The NGO bases this accusation on Mashaal’s own reported statements that he has had absolute power over Hamas for at least the past four years.

In that vein, even though the Palestinians have not yet formally joined the ICC and Mashaal currently lives in Qatar, not Gaza, the NGO’s original argument is that the ICC could have jurisdiction over him since his orders directed the alleged Gaza war crimes and since it has jurisdiction over Jordanian citizens.

The complaint alleges that on August 22, 2014, Hamas “executed 18 so-called ‘collaborators’ who had been convicted of no crime,” including that it “publicly executed seven of these ‘collaborators.'”

Next, the NGO states that “journalists observed Hamas executing 11 more in an abandoned Gaza City police station.”

Moreover, the complaint says that on July 28, 2014, Hamas summarily executed 20 Gazan civilians for engaging in anti-war protests against Hamas’s rule in Gaza.

In addition, the complaint says that those executed by Hamas “were civilians who were taking no active part in the hostilities,” code for the idea that they did not fall into an exceptional category of civilians whose role in hostilities can change their status to combatant, and a military target.

Shurat Hadin said those executed on August 22 were unlawfully detained in prison for two years prior to their execution, making it impossible that they could have participated in hostilities immediately prior to their execution.

It adds that the anti-war protestors who Hamas executed on July 28, 2014 “were unarmed protestors, not combatants.”

The NGO anticipated objections to its complaint, such as that Hamas and Mashaal do not “effectively control” Gaza or are part of a “national unity” government with the Palestinian Authority and cannot be held responsible for atrocities committed there.

It said that the unity government is non-existent in the real world on the ground and that Hamas effectively controlled the prisons of those prisoners executed and law enforcement observing the protesters, such that it, and therefore Mashaal, knew and was responsible for all circumstances related to the executions.

Next, the complaint quotes a top PA official affirming that the Hamas executions were “random,” without any judicial hearing or any due process, meaning Hamas could not argue that there was a legal basis for the executions.

In addition, the complaint quotes Moussa Abu Marzouk, Mashaal’s number two, as saying that the executions were essentially carried out to satisfy public anger over Israeli/Palestinian collaborator actions, without considering any standard legal proceedings.

Shurat Hadin’s tactic recalls threats and tactics by those trying to use “lawfare” against Israeli soldiers by trying to get the ICC to prosecute Israeli soldiers who are dual citizens, such as dual citizens of South Africa (which is a member of the ICC and often an Israel critic.)

The NGO’s head Nitzsana Darshan-Leitner said, “Shurat Hadin will not allow Hamas’s summary executions of its own people, while hypocritically advocating Palestinian membership in the ICC. “

September 3, 2014 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Support for Shurat Ha Din should be one of many prerequisites for all organizations which describe themselves as “pro-Israel” or zionist, like J Street’s ludicrous failed attempts to worm their way into our midst, which were properly declined, to be considered for validation by The Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations. J Street would FAIL one prerequisite after the other. How can Jews support these ENEMIES, and with an attitude too.
    We waste too much money on bullshit organizations like Peace Now, when will we sober up.
    How could Israel have tolerated a President Peres, who was the culprit of Oslo. Peres needs to be questioned under oath before he croaks to discover the truth of what he did to force Rabin to back Oslo.

  2. Eric R. Said:

    While I think Shurat does great lawfare work, I oppose their using (and giving legitimacy to) the ICC.

    shurat ha din is not a GOI org and their use gives no Israeli legitimacy to the ICC. It is always a good tactic to use the enemy weapons against themselves while leaving oneself out of the picture. Individuals and NGO’s can bring cases to ICC. There should be thousands of such cases filed which further the Jews in this war of lawfare. the filing of such cases puts the spotlight on the enemy and less on Israel. the more the better. she can file for using human shields without involving Israel except for providing evidence which is now being made publicly by the IDF.
    Personally, Leitner demonstrates her abilities repeatedly and I would like to see a big chunk of money go under her management.

  3. The NGO’s head Nitzsana Darshan-Leitner is the only org seriously pursuing lawfare for Israels interests. I wish Adelson would redirect his 100 mil to her. The tactic is interesting and original in that it does not involve Israel but involves an enemy that many, even in the PA and Hamas, would like to see deposed..