The prospects of proceedings at the International Criminal Court in The Hague pose a greater risk to Israelis than Palestinians, Aeyal Gross, professor of law at Tel Aviv University, told Haaretz this week.
Compared to the risks already faced by Palestinians who are involved in, for example, killing Israeli civilians – namely being assassinated by Israel or tried in an Israeli military court – The Hague does not seem so risky, he told Aimee Amiga.
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"Whereas for Israelis who are suspected of killing Palestinian civilians, or settlements, which are against the ICC statute, there is a new risk here, as Israel has gotten more-or-less used to impunity from serious investigations into their actions," he said.
The application to the ICC could both help and hinder the Palestinians' efforts to establish a state, Gross told Haaretz.
"It could put pressure on Israel to realize [that it no longer can act] with complete impunity and that issues like settlements or the killing of civilians may come to the international court and put more pressure on the Israeli government to reach a deal," he said.
"On the other hand, it can also cause backlash among Israelis, as we have seen now from the response of the Netanyahu government," freezing Palestinian Authority tax revenue that Israel collects on its behalf, he said.
That could prompt the government to continue to drag its feet in negotiations, Gross said.
Gross also addressed issues including why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for membership to the ICC despite the risk such a move poses to Palestinian leaders, and which Israelis are most likely to be targeted with legal proceedings.