The Palestinian delegate to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Ibrahim Khreisheh has admitted that Hamas is committing war crimes by firing rockets into Israel. Khreisheh was speaking on Palestinian television last week, in an interview translated by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute),
Responding to a question about the Palestinians' demand to appeal to the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC) against Israel, Khreisheh responded: "The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or missed, because it is directed at civilian targets...Therefore, targeting civilians, be it one civilian or a thousand, is considered a crime against humanity."
Relating to Israel's mode of operation in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, Khreisheh states: "Please note that many of our people in Gaza appeared in TV and said that the Israeli army warned them to evacuate their homes before bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than intentional killing, because (the Israelis) followed the legal procedures."
He goes on to say that Hamas, firing from PA controlled areas, does not warn civilians before firing on them and by doing so is committing a war crime: "As for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall, or about the operation we carry out."
The envoy concludes by saying that the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts: "Therefore, people should know more before they talk emotionally about appealing to the ICC."
Yaniv Hassidoff contributed to this report.
Reprinted with permission from the Tazpit News Agency.