OIC Lobbying Palestinians to Join ICC

OIC Lobbying Palestinians to Join ICCOIC Lobbying Palestinians to Join ICC

The world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries has been lobbying the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) so it can prosecute Israeli politicians and military leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the bloc’s leader has said.

Iyad Madani said the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly supports Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ plan to ask the UN Security Council to impose a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands, AP reported.

The Palestinians, under pressure from the United States and Israel, have been reluctant to become a party to the Rome Treaty that established the ICC. Abbas had been expected to sign up to the treaty during the recent 50-day Gaza war that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians. But he postponed an announcement, saying the Palestinians want to pursue action in the Security Council first.

“As OIC, we’re lobbying him to join the Rome Treaty and open the door as a member of the ICC court to bring up charges against the individual politicians and military people in Israel who are responsible for all those atrocities, the latest of which is Gaza,” Madani said.

He said the OIC agrees with Abbas’ statement to the UN General Assembly’s ministerial meeting on Friday that war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide were committed in Gaza.

Madani accused Israel of “dehumanizing” treatment of the Palestinians for decades, “and we think there is a strong case to classify this current government of Israel as an apartheid state that should be dealt with internationally as an apartheid state.”