The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is the most powerful non-governmental organization (NGO) group involved in lobbying the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ). Founded in 1995, CICC boasts that it comprises over 2,500 member organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH).
The “Palestine” section of the CICC’s website features an account of the Arab-Israeli conflict that reflects a stunning ignorance of basic history and current events, to understate the case. Publishing such blatantly wrong information calls into question the organization’s ability to provide credible reports to the courts and the public.
The CICC’s highly inaccurate summary states, in full:
“The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the longest running in modern history. Following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, violence erupted between Israeli armed forces and Palestinian armed groups. During the first and second intifadas in the late 1980s and early 2000s respectively, mass violations of international law occurred, with civilian casualties on both sides. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled to neighboring countries, where many remain in refugee camps. Gaza saw a recurrence of violence in April 2014 after the collapse of US-led peace negotiations. The death of two Palestinian teenagers and the subsequent abduction and death of three Israeli teenagers led to the launch of an Israeli military campaign into Gaza (Operation Protective Edge). The conflict caused a high number of civilian casualties. Between June and November 2014, over 2,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were reportedly killed, and more than 11,000 Palestinians and 1600 Israelis injured according to reports by the UN Refugee Agency and others.”
The most obvious inaccuracies include:
- Immediately following Israel’s Declaration of Independence on the basis of UNGA 181, five Arab states – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq – not “Palestinian armed groups” invaded the newborn country seeking to eliminate it. Local armed Palestinian militias assisted the Arab states in their military campaign.
- Arab violence against the Jewish population began well before May 1948. Notable examples include the 1929 Hebron Massacre, the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt, and fighting following the 1947 UN Partition vote.
- The “Palestinian armed groups” usually associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict did not come into existence until much later: Fatah (1959), PLO (1964), PFLP (1967), and Hamas (1988).
- The summary completely omits key events: the occupation from 1949-1967 by Jordan of what is today called “east Jerusalem” and the “West Bank” and Egypt’s occupation of Gaza during this same time period. The 1956 war with Egypt, the 1967 war, and the 1973 invasion of Israel on Yom Kippur is similarly missing.Contrary to what is claimed in CICC’s chronology, mass campaigns of violence and terrorism in the 1980s and early 2000s did not cause “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee to neighboring countries.” Refugees primarily resulted from the 1948 and 1967 wars.
- In the buildup to the 2014 Gaza war, one Arab teen from Jerusalem was murdered by Jewish extremists (on July 2, 2014), not two. This occurred after, not “subsequent” to the Hamas kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers (June 12, 2014).
- These events, while transpiring immediately prior to the war, were not the main catalyst for Israel’s launch of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Rather, during the same period, Hamas and other terror groups launched hundreds of rockets and mortars fire from Gaza at Israeli civilian communities. At the same time, Israel discovered advanced terror tunnel infrastructure spanning from inside Gaza into Israeli sovereign territory.
- The Palestinian casualty figures cited by CICC are based on claims made by Hamas (not the “UN Refugee Agency” which does not have a presence in Gaza) and are highly disputed. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 75% of Gazans killed in the 2014 conflict were terror operatives.