World View: Palestinian Lawyer Says Convicting Israel of War Crimes Not Realistic

This morning's key headlines from

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of shooting down military transport plane
  • Egypt proposes a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war
  • Palestinian lawyer says that proving Israeli war crimes would be difficult

Ukraine accuses Russia of shooting down military transport plane

A Ukrainian AN-26 military transport flying near the border with Russia was shot down on Monday. Ukraine is accusing Russia of shooting down the plane from Russian territory, which, if true, could be an important game-changer in the geopolitical battle that currently involves Russia, Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States. 

According to Ukraine's government: 

Factoring in that the plane was flying at the altitude 6,500m, it was impossible to hit it with man-portable anti-aircraft system, which means the plan was attacked by some other, more powerful rocket weapon, which was used, probably, from the territory of the Russian Federation...

At the moment, judging from the data provided by Ukrainian airmen, two theories are being considered: the shot was fired from the up-to-date surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system Pantsir or a self-guided air-to-air missile X-24 from a Russian plane, which could have been scrambled from the airfield Millerovo [Russia].

Ukrainian officials are examining the wreckage. If it's proved that Russian forces shot down the plane, then Ukraine may be forced to make its own military response, targeting Russian assets. Furthermore, EU and American officials may now feel obligated to impose much harsher sanctions on Russia or be accused of letting Russia cross another "red line" with no response. 

Russia has made no comment. Separately, NATO reported a Russian troop build-up near the Ukraine border, increasing their number to 12,000 troops. Ukraine News Agency and AP and BBC

Palestinian lawyer says that proving Israeli war crimes would be difficult

The Palestinian representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHCR) was interviewed on TV on the subject of going to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and charging Israel with war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to Ibrahim Khreisheh: 

The missiles that are now being launched against Israel – each and every missiles constitutes a crime against humanity whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at a civilian targets. What Israel does against Palestinian civilians also constitutes crimes against humanity. With regard to crimes of war under the Fourth Geneva Convention – the settlements, the Judaization, the checkpoints, the arrests, and so on – we find ourselves on very solid ground. However, there is a Palestinian weakness with regard to the other issue. Therefore targeting civilians – be it one civilian or a thousand – is considered a crime against humanity...

Please note that many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israeli army warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing, because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures. As for the missiles launched from our side: We never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall, or about the operations we carry out. Therefore, people should know more before they talk emotionally about appealing to the ICC."


Egypt proposes a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war

Egypt is proposing to mediate a cease-fire starting early on Tuesday in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, followed by a series of meetings and negotiations. It's not believed that Israel would agree to a cease-fire without a permanent cessation of rocket launchings from Gaza into Israel. 

It's believed that pressure form Islamic Jihad would prevent Hamas from agreeing to any cease-fire. A cease-fire would be humiliating because Hamas has launched hundreds of rockets, but not a single Israeli has been killed. Many have landed on unpopulated farmland, and many others have been shot down by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, so that Hamas has absolutely nothing to show for all the rockets they've sent. BBC

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ukraine, Russia, AN-26, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Indonesia, Egypt, Israel, Gaza, Iron Dome, UN Human Rights Council, UNHCR, International Criminal Court, ICC 

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