Arab League chief urges criminal court for Israel

April 21, 2016 7:00 pm

Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi attending a meeting of the body on March 10, 2016. (AFP photo)

The head of Arab League, which regroups Arab nations, has called for a special criminal court to be set up for the Israeli regime over its violation of Palestinian rights.
During a Thursday emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent declaration on the occupied Golan Heights, Nabil al-Arabi said that the Tel Aviv regime was acting “above the law and accountability.”
Arabi called for “a special criminal court for the Palestinian cause” so that Israel could be put on trial for repeated violations of rights of the Palestinians in a similar mechanism set up for Serbian war crimes.
Delegates to the 22-nation Arab bloc based in Cairo are expected to pass a resolution denouncing Netanyahu’s remarks on Sunday that Israel will not return Golan to and the territory, which was occupied during the 1967 war with three Arab countries, including , would remain under Israeli control “forever”. The heights were annexed to Israel in 1981.
Netanyahu’s statement was met with harsh criticism, with governments in the and in the West condemning it as running against the international law.
The Arab League’s special meeting on the issue comes as the bloc has lost its power and influence over major policy issues in the Arab world. That has been mainly due to growing divisions in the organization over ongoing conflict in Syria. Syria itself is no longer a member of the body due to strong differences with governments like Saudi Arabia, meaning that any resolution coming out of Thursday’s meeting would lack the desired effect.
Saudis also reacted to Netanyahu’s remarks, with Ahmed Qattan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Cairo and the kingdom’s envoy to the Arab League, accusing Israel of trying to profit from the conflict in Syria.
“The Zionist entity is exploiting the years of crisis in Syria,” Qattan said.
Earlier this week, Nabil al-Arabi had denounced Netanyahu’s statement as “a new escalation that represents a brazen violation of international law.”
Netanyahu, who was visiting Moscow on Thursday, told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Golan is a red line for Israel and must remain part of the occupying entity, further complicating the situation over the issue.
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