During Operation Protective Edge, seven Israeli civilians were killed as a result of rockets fired from Gaza. Now, Israeli police plan on opening murder investigations (Hebrew) into each of these deaths. The purpose would be to prepare for possible war crimes charges against those militants responsible for killing Israeli civilians. The clear intent is to warn Hamas that joining the International Criminal Court, as it’s agreed to do should the PA apply for membership, is a two-edged sword that could swing back and hit the Islamist group itself.
There are two ways of looking at this development: the first is that it takes an amazing amount of chutzpah to investigate killings of seven Israeli civilians as war crimes when the IDF killed 1,700 (out of a total of 2,100 dead) civilians in Gaza during the war. That’s 200 times more civilian dead than Hamas caused.
The second way of looking at this is that Israel is cooking its own goose by investigating the deaths as war crimes. Once Israel accepts the premise that the killing of its own civilian citizens are war crimes it must perforce accept that the killing of Gaza civilians is also a war crime. I don’t know if anyone in Israel bothered to consider this fact. But whether they did or not, I hope they do open such investigations. I’ve always said that there were war crimes committed by both sides of this conflict.
But if the ratio I mentioned above holds up, there should be 200 times as many prosecutions of Israelis as Palestinians before the ICC after Palestine’s membership is accepted. Perhaps Bibi Netanyahu may want to chew on that for a bit.