Following five weeks of deliberations in Rome, a United Nations committee
voted on Friday to establish an International Criminal Court where severe
crimes, such as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, will be
prosecuted, MA'ARIV reported.
The definition of war crimes included the transfer of the occupying
country's population into an occupied territory and using the population
within the occupied territory for the needs of the occupying country.
According to the newspaper, this article clearly refers to Israeli
settlements in the territories.
HA'ARETZ reported that 120 countries at the Rome conference approved the
establishment of the court, while 20 abstained. Israel was one of seven
countries, including the United States, China and India, to oppose the final
In its objection, the Israeli delegation declared that it "fails to
comprehend why it has been considered to insert into the list of the most
heinous and grievous crimes the action of transferring population into
Alan Baker, the Foreign Ministry's legal adviser, raised his objections to
the political nature of this addition, which views both murder and
settlements as war crimes. Baker added that despite the fact that settlers
cannot be arrested in Israel and transported to the tribunal in The Hague,
it will be possible to arrest them abroad if there is suspicion that they
were active in determining the settlement policy.