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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  March 5, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PST

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you are watcng al jazeera. a reminder of our top stories. brazil's second-largest city has announced its toughest measures to curb the spread of covid-19. restaurants and bars will close at 5:00 in the evening for the next week. it follows days of record coronavirus deaths across the country. the european union has blocked a quarter of a million coronavirus vaccines from being exported to australia. the astrazeneca shipments being stopped by an eu export system to hold big pharmaceutical minis to their contracts.
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there have been reports of tsunami waves in the pacific following a series of earthquakes. the emergency management agency says the largest waves have passed, and the threat level is downgraded. the tsunami warning followed three large shallow earthquakes out at sea. wayne hay is in the city of to ranga on the north islands east coast. >> the alert is still in place. we are hearing reports that there has been some surges in some parts of those areas where the alert remains in place. unusual activity in the ocean. for the most part, people have seemed to have heeded the warnings. the urge from authorities to get away from the coastal areas, go to higher ground. so it seems people have gotten themselves to safety and away from the activity we see take place in some areas. >> fighting between supporters
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leading the opposition figure have turned deadly. they are the first since two days ago. the protests began on wednesday. they are set to appear in court on rape charges. he denies the allegations. the u.n. wants to investigate what it says are war crimes being carried out in ethiopia's tigray region. raping, torture, sexual violence have been happening on a daily basis, they say. they want monitors to be let in. the u.n. human rights investigator host accused me on mars military of beating, killing, and unlawfully detaining protesters. it has demanded a global arms embargo. the un security council will discuss the issue friday. those were the headlines. more news in half an hour. next is inside story.
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>> the international criminal court investigates alleged war crimes on palestinian territory. israel calls it scandalous. palestinians say it is long overdue. what can the inquiry achieve? this is inside story. ♪ >> welcome to the program. some call it a chance for peace. others, an attack on israel. the international criminal court is opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in the palestinian territory. it will look into accusations of violations by the israeli military and palestinian armed
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groups. palestinians have been pushing for the probe since joining the icc six years ago. neither israel or the u.s. are part of the court. both have criticized the decision. we will bring in our guests in a moment. but first, this report from the occupied west bank. >> this is a moment many palestinians have been waiting for. the international criminal court investigating allegations of war crimes in palestinian territory. including violence against protesters near the gaza writ israel fence. but the violation of international law is the illegal israeli supplements in the occupied west bank. more than 600,000 israelis live in jewish only settlements, killing any possibility for a future palestinian state. it has been six years since palestine joined the international criminal court. earlier this year, the chief prosecutor received the green light from the pretrial chamber,
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confirming the jurisdiction over gaza and the west bank, including occupied jerusalem. >> i think we would be encouraging the prosecutor to look to palestine, or crimes against humanity and war crimes. mainly the regime. there is no complementary in such regime. this is the government of israel policies and it is systematic and widespread. >> the family hopes the court brings them justice. >> he is one of 70 palestinians whose bodies have been confiscated from their families. a practice of collective punishment. >> a recent report by uk's forensic architecture said he was shocked -- shot and bled to death after being denied medical treatment. israeli soldiers killed him at a checkpoint.
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the army said he tried to run over soldiers, but the report says he did not pose a threat. >> they used our son as a guinea pig, subject for their training. dozens have been killed like this after my son, and hundreds before him. >> the chief prosecutor says it is also investigating allegations against palestinian armed groups in gaza. >> you can't equate the oppressor with the oppressed. the israeli occupation's policies constitute a grave violation of international law, but our national resistance is legitimate. reporter: israel is not a member of the court. prime minister netanyahu turned the decision absurd, and anti-semitic. >> without any jurisdiction, you decided our brave soldiers who take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties against the worst terrorists in the world
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would deliberately target civilians. it is our soldiers who are war criminals? reporter: the israeli government is considering sanctioning palestinian officials, and in response to the icc opening an investigation, they may advance more settlement fillings. ♪ >> let's bring in our guest in west jerusalem, legal advisor at ngo monitor, an organization that analyzes output of the ngo community from a perspective. william chavez in london, former chairperson of the commission on and free on the gaza conflict. welcome to the program. what, from your perspective, happens next? how long do you think this investigation might take?
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what might it ultimately achieve? >> it is very hard to tell how long it will take. it is a matter for the prosecutor. she has been working on the situation. in the context of a formal investigation for a number of years now. she must have quite a substantial file. i doubt she is going to be able to pursue her investigation territory because of problems getting access to the territory. my sense is there is probably not a great deal more to be done. the next visible sign we should see is likely to be the issue on some arrest warrant by the judges, or a summons. that could also come secretly. they can issue a sealed arrest warrant in the hopes of catching one of the accused off guard when they travel outside of the territory. >> is it your point of view on this that the oslo accords do
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not allow the court from asserting jurisdiction? if not, why is that? >> i think it is very clear. when you look at the oslo accords, which the palestinians usually agreed -- mutually agreed to in the mid-90's, it says they have no criminal jurisdiction over israelis whatsoever. they don't have the ability to delegate criminal jurisdiction to any other international institution. it was quite surprising reading the pretrial chamber's decision, where they basically ignored the decision. the majority opinion barely touched on it at all. i think it will be interesting. i highly doubt they will get any israelis in custody at the court. i would find that to be quite remote. if they do, it would be an issue
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that would come up. >> the palestinian authority's ministry of foreign affairs has urged a prompt conclusion of the investigation. given how long it has taken to get to this point, do you think that is possible? >> the icc, the independent and credible court, that is how -- it was incredible security pressure. and -- we want conditions to act independent, proficient environment. and they do what they have to do. we as representatives coming in
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to this decision. we have a trust. as william said, they have a lot of material. precisely for the last six years. -- i hope this will ease their work and how to proceed. and i hope they allow the investigative team to come visit.
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and to talk to the people. and to conclude what they have to conclude in this regard. it is clear. >> you heard him mention phot two pseudo-. you mentioned her a moment ago. she is the outgoing chief prosecutor at the international criminal court. i want to talk about the moment, she will be replaced by another chief prosecutor. coming into that role in june. do you think it could cause any issues? it is my understanding he is not bound to any of the decisions made. do we perhaps know his position on this case? is it likely he would carry it forward? could it cause any hiccups? >> he is going to take over in
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june. she doesn't have much time left. let's remember the decision that she receive the favorable decision in february, she had asked for about a year earlier. for some reason, it took the pretrial chamber a long time to issue the decision. had they done it earlier, she may have been more advanced on it. but it is going to go to the new prosecutor. he has been working in the international justice system for many years. he is well known to all of us. a very competent lawyer and man of integrity. he will take the decision as he sizes things up. i don't have any particular insight. if he has any views. but like his predecessors, he is committed to doing the job with independence and impartiality. that doesn't mean he won't take exercise discretion differently than the current prosecutor. >> is it likely or unlikely that
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israel will cooperate formally with this investigation? will they allow investigators into territories that israel controls? >> i would find that highly unlikely. i would not be surprised if perhaps behind, there are meetings that go on. particularly when the new prosecutor takes over, since he might have a different outlook on this case, and different approach to the case. i do not foresee the israeli government allowing her office any access to the territories. >> do you believe palestinian groups like hamas will also be investigated for war crimes when it comes to the investigation? >> we think we have nothing to worry about. the position around the globe, politically. but hamas, the petition when
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they wanted to sign and -- that they are endorsing this, and supporting this. and i think yesterday, the issued a very clear-cut statement without any reservation. so they will be happy to engage properly in any coming investigation. i want to say something. israel never was a member state. when we began to engage with them, they were having very good meetings.
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we were informed about that. they tried to bring arguments away from that. there are many states in the pretrial chamber when they asked for submissions. and state members to submit. there were many countries who found the israeli point of view legally. so they have been present. on security threats, the exposed on the prosecutor office. >> it looked like you may have wanted to respond. >> i do think it is worth pointing out israel is not a member of the court, it would have liked to join, but it was
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pretty aware that it was going to take this type of direction when the court originally began operations. and they have allowed themselves to exercise jurisdiction over the palestinian authority, which itself is not a state and doesn't have the capacity to join the statute. it is why the case is so contentious. that is why so many countries spoke out against this move by the prosecutor. another area of concern we have, she may investigate hamas. we will have to see. one thing that greatly concerned me in her brief to the court, as well as in the pretrial chamber decision, they only referred to israeli authorities, hamas, and palestinian armed groups, but excluded palestinian authorities. there are many documented war crimes committed by palestinian
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authority officials. i find it highly troubling the court appears to be giving them a pass to be investigated. it is clear they have a lot of responsibility for many crimes. not only against israelis, but also, palestinians. >> do you believe the icc will investigate groups like hamas, or palestinian officials? >> prosecutors made it clear that it falls within the scope of the referral. so yes, i would have no reason to think she would not do that. i think it is clear she has, the previous speaker suggested there is something suspicious about the fact that she didn't mention the palestinian authority. i don't think there can be any doubt from the statement she has made. everybody who is on the territory in palestine, or who
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is done at the territory is in principle. subject to the jurisdiction and could be investigated by her. like all prosecutors, she keeps her cards close to her chest, which is a normal and appropriate. we will have to wait and see what she does. she has made statements making it clear when she investigating hamas. and any other individuals in the territory. >> if investigators are from the icc don't have access to territories controlled by israel, how will they about collecting testimonies? what will that process look like? >> if they are allowed any investigating, it will come to the territories. they haven't brought any mission
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inquiries, or those to bring -- including the special repertory. so most will not, because at that stage, they want to come and visit in 2015 to see what was happening, what was going on with the ground, the destruction, the claims against the israeli army and crimes, -- but they were absolutely denied. that is why the victims -- zoom and skype, with translation for them, they were all
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investigating them. so we would love to see israel -- us, and coming to the occupied territories and to get it to them, and let them see the crimes they did, and what they didn't do. i suspect that they will be denied access, because that is very -- of israel with any justice. besides that, i think the possibility due to the blockade on gaza that the victims, their families, will be mission impossible.
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that is another serious problem. even some representative cases. we say 20, 30 cases, we want to take the victims and their families, which would be very hard, if not, mission impossible. a blockade for the last 14 years imposed by israel. that is what makes it hard, even for victims in the court. so it can look to their eyes and to be with them. that is why most likely, it would be once and again having it. i hope i'm wrong.
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i hope that israel disappoints us to come to the occupied territories. >> i am sorry to interrupt, but we are starting to run out of time. i want to ask a question with regards to how all of this might impact elections in israel. do you believe the announcement, as far as the investigation of the icc, will end up favoring parties and candidates who will take a stronger line against palestinians and are more supportive of the sediments? -- settlements? this definitely puts back the process and could embolden those individuals who want to have more punitive measures dealing
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with the palestinians. that is definitely a possibility. this is really about politics. the palestinians almost 10 years ago wanted to go to the international court and use it as a political weapon to advance its nationalist claims, advance rejection s claims, rather than engaging in negotiations and working at a compromise for a two state solution. that is the way things should be going, rather than the palestinians taking over the unilateral steps to be going to these international bodies. unfortunately, what the court has done is fully staffed back the cause for peace, and ability to lessen the conflict in this area. it is quite unfortunate. >> the u.s. announced it is
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formally opposed to and disappointed by this icc decision to investigate. i want to ask you if they can impact proceedings going forward in any way, as far as the political pressure the court could come under? do you think u.s. president biden will maintain the sanctions imposed on icc officials by the trump administration? >> the trump administration made it clear that they were angry about the prosecutor's investigation, both into the american conduct in afghanistan, but also into the investigation of their close ally, which is israel. i don't think the general policy has changed. no doubt the biden administration is not going to be as hostile and antagonistic towards the court as was the administration of donald trump and secretary of state mike
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pompeo. anyone who expects is going to fall in love with the criminal court and have a rude surprise. i do think -- i disagree with the previous speaker, who talked about the threat to peace. i think this is a new element in an intractable conflict, israel and palestine, that decades have gone by without a recent resolution and without any clear idea of where it ends. a new ingredient, justice, international justice, to be directed at both sides, has the potential to kind of shuffle the cards a little bit, and hopefully make a final peaceful agreement more possible and not less possible. we should welcome this. >> some have said there is a concern that the un security council can step in and delay the investigation, perhaps if
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they are able to get a peace process. do you think it may happen? >> it is theoretically possible. it would require the security council to adopt a resolution. that is going to require the five affirmative votes, or cooperation of the permanent members, the u.s. will try and get them to stop it. but i don't think we can assume russia and china will agree. it is theoretically possible. i think it is unlikely. >> thank you so much to all of our guests. thank you for watching. you can watch this and our previous episodes visiting our website. for further discussion, go to story. and you can also reach us on twitter. bye for now.
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