Hamas wants 'Zionist war criminals' judged by ICC



GAZA CITY- Hamas wants what it calls "Zionist war criminals" brought before the International Criminal Court over last year's Israeli assault on Gaza, an official of the Islamist group said on Saturday.
"We ask the United Nations to transfer the matter to the ICC so that the Zionist war criminals can be brought to justice," said Mohammed Faraj al-Ghul, justice minister in the Hamas administration of the Gaza Strip.



Palestinian civilians run for cover as a white phosphorous shell rains down over a UN school in Beit Lahiain, during the Israeli offensive in 2009 (AFP/File/Mohammed Abed)
Palestinian civilians run for cover as a white phosphorous shell rains down over a UN school in Beit Lahiain, during the Israeli offensive in 2009 (AFP/File/Mohammed Abed)
However, he also said he expected that the United States would block any such move.
"We expect that the American administration will intervene to block these criminals being judged," Ghul said.
Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the Israeli offensive aimed at halting rocket attacks from the territory ruled by the militant group which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state.
A UN Human Rights Council report by the respected former international prosecutor Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Palestinian groups of committing war crimes during the devastating 22-day conflict.
On January 27, Hamas said it had investigated those allegations and absolved Palestinian armed groups of any atrocities.
The Goldstone report recommended that its findings be referred to the ICC in The Hague if Israel and Hamas failed to carry out credible, independent investigations.
Israel has rejected the report as "anti-Semitic" despite the fact Goldstone is himself Jewish, because the report accuses the Israeli military of deliberately targeting civilians and destroying vital infrastructure.
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Sunday, February 7th 2010
AFP
           


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