Based on findings, the court will decide whether or not to do a full investigation of the events of Operation Protective Edge.
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The International Criminal Court in the Hague will open a preliminary investigation on suspicions of war crimes by the Israelis against the Palestinians.
The prosecutors in the court are expected to decide, depending on the preliminary outcomes, if they will carry out a full investigation of Israel’s actions against the Palestinians in Operation Protective Edge.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in response that he will work in the international arena in order to disassemble the International Criminal Court. “We are talking about a scandalous decision whose entire goal is to try to hurt Israel’s right to defend itself against terror,” he explained. The same court who after two hundred thousand deaths in Syria did not find cause to intervene there, or in Libya, or other places, finds it necessary to ‘investigate’ the most moral army in the world. The decision is entirely driven by anti-Israel political motives.”
“Even if they are supposedly ‘investigating’ both sides, it is a cover for the purpose of harming Israel because obviously they did not take into account the IDF, who does everything not to harm innocent people, in comparison to terrorist organizations who fire from populated civilian areas in order to hurt civilians,” Lieberman added. “We will not accept this, and I recommend that we do not cooperate with this investigation.”
On Thursday, eight residents of the Eshkol region in the south went to testify before the UN in its investigation of the events of Protective Edge. Two of the people included Head of the region Haim Yellin, who recently joined Yesh Atid, and Gadi Yarkoni, Coordinator of the Nirim region who lost both of his legs from a mortar shell that fell an hour before the cease fire.
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“We are going for an important mission and we must not get emotional—we will beat them even if they don’t think so, at least they will hear the other side, and how right we are,” said Yarkoni, who recently began to walk again after a long rehabilitation period. Yarkoni’s ambition is challenging: the committee is headed by William Shabbas who is known for his anti-Israel rhetoric.
The two were briefed before the testimony: “He does not like Israel, but we hope that it will be better—that the committee will not only be anti-Israel and to rule terrible things against us.” Although Israel is officially boycotting the committee, the residents of the South arrived independently in order to fight against the anti-Semitism.
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Yellin said in his testimony before the committee: “It cannot be that they hide among innocent civilians, they shoot from schools. They shoot at my son from a UNRWA clinic—this is what happens to people who have no protection, and they have nothing to lose.” At the end of his testimony Yellin said that “we think we are starting to crack the judges.”
“This is exciting, I was confident and they let me speak freely,” said Yarkoni at the end of his testimony. “In the end they questioned me a bit, and I felt like I succeeded in transmitting the important message—that we are in the right.” Esther Bochstev, a resident of the Otef Aza, left in tears: “At least on an emotional level I felt like I influenced them—when I got up they told me that they wanted to shake my hand and hug me.”