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

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.


Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

Updated 23 min 25 sec ago

Oil up after drone attack on Saudi field, but OPEC report caps gains

LONDON: Crude oil prices rose on Monday following a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemen’s Houthi militia and as traders looked for signs of progress in US-China trade negotiations.
Price gains were, however, capped to some degree by an unusually downbeat OPEC report that stoked concerns about growth in oil demand.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up 85 cents, or about 1.4%, at $59.49 a barrel at 1225 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.01, or 1.8%, at $55.88 a barrel.
A drone attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia on an oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday caused a fire at a gas plant, adding to Middle East tensions, but state-run Saudi Aramco said oil production was not affected.
“The oil market seems to be pricing in again a geopolitical risk premium following the weekend drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, but the premium might not sustain if it does not result in any supply disruptions,” said Giovanni Staunovo, oil analyst for UBS.
Iran-related tensions appeared to ease after Gibraltar released an Iranian tanker it seized in July, though Tehran warned the United States against any new attempt to seize the tanker in open seas.
Concerns about a recession also limited crude price gains.
Meanwhile, China’s announcement of key interest rate reforms over the weekend has fueled expectations of an imminent reduction in corporate borrowing costs in the struggling economy, boosting share prices on Monday.
US energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.
“WTI in recent weeks has performed relatively better than Brent... Pipeline start ups in the United States have been supportive for WTI, while the ongoing trade war has had more of an impact on Brent,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at Dutch bank ING.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market would be in slight surplus in 2020.
It is rare for OPEC to give a bearish forward view on the market outlook.
“Such a bearish prognosis will heap more pressure on OPEC to take further measures to support the market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.