Victory for Palestine | The Jackal

30 Nov 2012

Victory for Palestine

Today, Stuff reported:

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted to grant Palestinians "non-member state" UN observer status, recognising implicitly the sovereign state of Palestine.

This is most excellent news, with Palestine being recognized as a sovereign state meaning they can now pursue their legal claims in the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes committed during the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Palestine has already lodged a number of complaints with the ICC's chief prosecutor including some concerning Israelis Operation Cast Lead offensive in 2008/09. The ICC had previously said it could not act, but today's vote clears the way for the permanent war crimes tribunal to now investigate.

Palestine is also likely to make a formal complaint concerning the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 if it turns out he was poisoned by Israeli operatives. His body was recently exhumed for further testing.

There's no doubt that some of these crimes should be investigated by the ICC and perhaps even referred onto the UN Security Council, although the United States has vito powers there and is likely to protect Israel by using them. Despite this, having the power to legally challenge Israel in a court of law will deter further war crimes that have been a regular occurrence in the war torn lands, resulting in the death and maiming of many thousands of innocent civilians.

Israeli officials have proclaimed that recognizing Palestine as a sovereign nation will lead to further war, however there's no doubt that the vote for Palestine to become a non-member state is an opportunity for peace in the region.

It's also likely to strengthen the political efforts to end the Gaza blockade, which has been in place for over five years and ensured more than 1.6 million innocent people have suffered for acts they're in no way responsible for. Such barbarity must end and thanks to the many countries that voted in favour of Palestine, including New Zealand, the world is a step closer to peaceful resolution.

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas