Khaled Mashal, 20 January 2009
Khaled Mashal, 20 January 2009
Khaled Mashal, 20 January 2009


(Tel Aviv)   Days after Hamas terror Chief Khaled Mashal oversaw the execution of Palestinian civilians in Gaza while advocating Palestinian membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague,  Netherlands, an Israeli based civil rights organization, Shurat Hadin — Israel Law Center,  has filed a war crimes complaint against him with the ICC. The complaint alleges that Mashal implemented the Islamic terrorist organization’s brutal execution of 38 Palestinians suspected of anti-Hamas protests and “collaborating” with Israel. Killing civilians without trial constitutes a war crime under international law.  According to the complaint, Mashal “had knowledge of the executions, oversees Hamas’ governance of Gaza, and actively encourages and supports the executions.”

In a groundbreaking approach, Shurat HaDin Chairperson attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner claims that the Hamas leader  can be prosecuted in the ICC because, “Mashal is a Jordanian citizen and Jordan is a member of the ICC.   The ICC is empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed. Mashal can be immediately investigated and prosecuted for these 38 heinous murders.”

The Shurat HaDin complaint is the first ICC complaint against a Palestinian terrorist leader on the basis of his Jordanian citizenship.  The complaint notes Jordan is either unable or unwilling to extradite and prosecute Mashal from his safe haven in Qatar and it has never held Hamas leaders who possess Jordanian citizenship accountable for war crimes.

Hamas proudly admits that it executed at least 38 Palestinian civilians in Gaza since the outbreak of the recent war with Israel in July 2014.  The complaint alleges that on July 28, 2014, Hamas executed 20 Palestinian civilians for engaging in anti-Hamas protests and on August 22, 2014 Hamas gunmen publicly executed 18 Palestinians for “collaboration” with Israel, eliciting condemnation of the Islamic terrorist organization in Gaza  by the international community as well as the Palestinian Authority.

In an unusual OP ED piece published in the Guardian newspaper on Saturday, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wrote that the ICC is interested in pursuing an investigation against Israel over allegations that the Israeli military engaged in war crimes against civilians during the recent conflict with the Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza.   Bensouda wrote that the ICC has not “avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure” and has only failed to do so due to a lack of jurisdiction.

As such, the Shurat HaDin war crimes complaint gives the ICC the jurisdictional basis to prosecute Mashal over allegations Hamas itself perpetrated heinous crimes against its own population.  “We believe the complaint being filed directly addresses Prosecutor Bensouda’s jurisdictional concern for prosecuting war crimes in Gaza,” said Darshan-Leitner, “Shurat Hadin will not allow Hamas’ summary executions of its own people, while hypocritically advocating Palestinian membership in the ICC. “

Merely days after executing its own civilians, Hamas signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the ICC.  The Palestinian Authority recently threatened Israeli government officials with war crimes complaints and in November 2012 upgraded its status in the United Nations in an effort to join the ICC.  Shurat Hadin is exposing Hamas hypocrisy and brutality by demanding justice for Hamas’ execution of its own civilian population.
Copies of the complaint are available.


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