SETTLEMENTS FALL UNDER JURISDICTION
OF NEW U.N. COURT

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 document.

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 occupied territory."

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.


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