For the past 27 days, the United Nations, United States and most of the world’s countries have disapproved of the situation that is taking place in Gaza. Human rights defenders have pointed out that both Israel and Hamas have either indiscriminately or deliberately kept attacking civilian population over and over again.
In similar situations, as was the 2009 conflict, United States investigators did raise war crime allegations, but both sides denied such accusations so the matter never actually reached the International Criminal Court.
Palestinians wish that the situation evolves differently this time. They just may get their wish as one difference between 2009 and 2014 lies in the fact that President Mahmoud Abbas now has the possibility of directly turning to the court (he is now a head of an U.N. –recognized state).
While some hope exists that the situation is analyzed by the International Criminal Court, major political obstacles stand in the way of war crime prosecution. For instance, both the United States and Israel are opposing a possible charge that could stem from the aggression taking place in Gaza, as such an initiative could hinder any possible future peace talks impossible.
And any attempt that President Abbas would have to begin a formal investigation of the war crimes that Israel would have committed could also cause him to involve Hamas to the same charges while losing the Western support that Palestine currently has.
Human rights groups have tracked the aftermath of Israeli strikes since the moment that the armed conflict began on the 8th of July. This information could serve as groundwork for any legal proceedings that would take place.
Field researchers have also become more efficient when touring destruction sites, as they declared. After the war in 2009, they have learned to take photos and collect witness accounts that could serve as evidence in any potential criminal trial. They also added that accuracy is a big issue, because anything they would declare would be put under global scrutiny so the data has to be correct.
On the other hand, Israel also claims to have learned a lot from the 2009 war, claiming that any military action or strike in Gaza is first cleared with military legal advisers. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, declared that Israel has comprised a very thorough legal defense if ever they would find themselves in a situation that would require such documentation.
A commission of inquiry will be set up to ensure that any possible war rule violation be looked into immediately. The Human Rights Council decided to act in this manner last month, when they decided to pick the investigators, prepare the mandate and send the investigators to the region.