On February 5, 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it has the jurisdiction to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” On March 3, 2021, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced the launch of a formal investigation.


On December 20, 2019, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced that she intends to investigate alleged war crimes in the “State of Palestine.”  This move is to a significant degree the product of consistent and heavy lobbying of the ICC for over a decade by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These include Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, and a number of groups with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, and funded by Europe.

In some instances, the European funding to Palestinian NGOs was explicitly earmarked for their activities vis-à-vis the ICC. For instance, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat – a joint funding mechanisms of the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark – distributed “emergency funding” to Palestinian NGOs to document “large scale violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – the majority against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects.”

These organizations are not credible sources of information for the court.  Their ties to the PFLP terror group, as well as their promotion of BDS and other anti-Israel activities, should be disqualifying for any independent and objective body.


Source: Khan 11, November 14, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxyFnLQS0a0

PFLP issued a condolence note in memory of Arbid’s mother. In it, the PFLP calls Arbid a “prisoner and commander,” and “one of the heroes of the Bubeen operation”


Al-Dameer seminar with PFLP prisoner’s committee.
Al-Dameer Lawyer Mohammed Al Bardawell seen on the left. (Source: on file with NGO Monitor.)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Raji Sourani accepts award from the PFLP on February 16, 2014. From right to left: PCHR General Director Raji Sourani, PFLP Central Committee member Rabah Muhanna, and PFLP Central Committee member Mariam Abu Daqah
(Source: Al Watan Voice, “The people honor the fighter Professor Raji Sourani in recognition of his role in transmitting the message of our people,” February 17, 2014: https://video.alwatanvoice.com/view/2014/02/17/496986.html


Another photo of Sourani received the award. The banner reads “Recognizing the distinguished professor, Raji Sourani on receiving the Alternative Nobel Prize, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
(Source: PCHR, “PFLP honors Lawyer Raji Sourani for Winning ‘Alternative Noble Prize,’” February 20, 2014: https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=858)


Shawan Jabarin attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP. It centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.


Kamal El-Sharafi, Chairman of the Board, meets with a delegation of representatives from the PFLP’s student body, PSLF. (Source: Dr. Kamal El-Sharafi’s Facebook profile.)

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also been a leading proponent of an ICC investigation targeting Israel.  It has promoted this agenda by pushing the PA to ascend to the ICC, lobbying the ICC prosecutor, and publishing reports with spurious arguments alleging Israeli violations of international law.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Ken Roth, Middle East head Sarah Leah Whitson, and Israel and Palestine Country Director Omar Shakir, HRW has launched campaigns that seek to harm Israeli banks and soccer clubs, and have targeted platforms promoting tourism.

Amnesty International

Amnesty has called for ICC investigations into Israel surrounding its conflicts with Gaza in both 2009 and 2014.

Amnesty has long worked to advance BDS campaigns, including supporting BDS legislation in the US and in Ireland, as well as calling on governments to impose an arms embargo on Israel.  Following the publication of its January 2019 report targeting tourism in Israel and the West Bank, Mayor of Frankfurt Uwe Becker stated, “Amnesty International is promoting ethnic cleansing…[and] walking in the footprints of the antisemitic BDS movement.”