World Court prosecutor charging Israel with war crimes linked to terrorist-affiliated group

Fatou Bensouda’s determination to bring war crime charges against Israel is politically tainted at best, says the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A leading Israeli research institute revealed in a recent study a troubling link between the lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a human rights organization that petitioned the court against Israel and which counts Palestinian terrorist supporters as some of its member groups.

The May study from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) says that the ICC’s Fatou Bensouda has a close relationship with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), as the umbrella NGO says on its own website. In 2019, she was one of the keynote speakers at the NGO’s 40th Congress.

The FIDH joined the Palestinian Authority in asking the Hague to charge Israel with war crimes for its actions in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge that stopped indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip as well as for the entire settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

The seemingly close ties are a problem, says the study, because FIDH supports organizations with links to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). This violent extremist group has been responsible for numerous attacks on Israeli civilians for decades, and is officially designated a terrorist organization by the United States, EU, Israel and Canada.

FIDH Secretary-General Shawan Jabarin was a senior member of the PFLP and served multiple sentences in Israeli prison for his terrorist activity. He is the current head of FIDH member Al-Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which drives anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS campaigns.

In December 2019, Bensouda declared that “I am satisfied that … war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” The case has not moved forward as yet because the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber still has to decide whether it can be brought on several procedural grounds.

The study concluded that the ICC has been politicized against Israel and questioned Bensouda’s impartiality.

“According to Jordanian sources,” the study said, the “prosecutor hinted to the Palestinians that the entire process of her conducting a preliminary examination as to whether the court has the authority to proceed with investigating the case against Israel was meant only to protect the court from criticism, while she had already decided to move the case forward.”

The study was written in collaboration with NGO Monitor by Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a JCPA project director who formerly headed the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, and Dan Diker, the director of JCPA’s Political Warfare Project.