Why no International Criminal Court arrest warrants for the Hamas leadership for the war crime of using human shields?

Karl Student had a clever idea: use British prisoners of war as human shields for his advancing German troops in Crete in 1941. Six British prisoners of war died from fire from the British side of the battle. The use of prisoners of war as human shields was the subject of war crimes trials by the UK Military Court in the Student case in 1946 and the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in the Von Leeb (The High Command Trial) case in 1948.

Under the Statute of the Statute of the International Criminal Court ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(xxiii) , it is a war crime to

utili[se] the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations

In 1990 and 1991, Saddam held more than 800 Western, Japanese, and Kuwaiti nationals as involuntary human shields at strategic installations in Iraq and Kuwait. Saddam broadcast this picture of him putting his greasy dictator paws over some poor child he was holding hostage.

 

In the Karadžić and Mladić case in 1995 before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the accused were charged with war crimes for using UN peacekeepers as human shields.

The Gaza Strip is not a free country. Those that disobey the orders of the Hamas government to not evacuate and to not leave buildings in the case of warning missiles risk severe punishments including execution.  in the Gaza Strip, it does not pay to give  neighbours ammunition to settle old scores.

Why hasn’t the International Criminal Court issued warrants for the arrests of the Hamas leaders who have enabled the use of human shields?

The Palestinian Authority has previously sought to invoke the jurisdiction of the International criminal Court against Israel. The  Palestinian Authority has already acceded to the Geneva conventions earlier this year.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas would not only be able to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court, they would also expose themselves to war crimes prosecutions.

Israeli security forces make strenuous efforts to adhere to international law, while Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups are routinely engaged in war crimes, such as shooting rockets at civilians.

HT: icrc.org

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