ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition by Israelis

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visits a school in Khan Al-Ahmar on Thursday. (AP)
Updated 19 October 2018
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ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition by Israelis

  • Israel's Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan Al-Ahmar.
  • Israel says Khan Al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few kilometers away

THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has issued a warning that if Israel goes ahead and destroys a Palestinian Bedouin village in the West Bank that could constitute a war crime.

Israel's Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan Al-Ahmar.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a written statement that "evacuation by force now appears imminent."

She added: "It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes" under the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC.

Israel says Khan Al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few kilometers away. Palestinians and other critics say the demolition aims to displace Palestinians in favor of Israeli settlement expansion.

The ICC has been conducting a preliminary inquiry since 2015 in the Palestinian territories, including Israel's settlement policy and crimes allegedly committed by both sides in the 2014 Gaza conflict. Israel is not a member of the court and does not accept its jurisdiction. 

 

Israeli crimes

However, Israeli forces could face charges if they are suspected of committing crimes on Palestinian territories as the court has accepted the "State of Palestine" as a member.

Bensouda's written statement also said she is "alarmed by the continued violence, perpetrated by actors on both sides, at the Gaza border with Israel." 

There have been weeks of escalating violence along the border.


Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California will probably sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 44 min 22 sec ago
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Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

  • The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico

SAN FRANCISCO: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds.
The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
Several Republican senators have decried the emergency declaration, saying it establishes a dangerous precedent and amounts to executive overreach.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.
“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the US Constitution, including the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause,” the complaint said.
It added that Trump had “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”
“Congress has repeatedly rebuffed the president’s insistence to fund a border wall, recently resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute,” the document read.
“After the government reopened, Congress approved, and the president signed into law, a $1.375 billion appropriation for fencing along the southern border, but Congress made clear that funding could not be used to build President Trump’s proposed border wall.”
The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico.
Friday’s declaration enables the president to divert funds from the Pentagon’s military construction budget and other sources.