Israel is liable for war crimes over the prisoner issue now that the Palestinian Authority has ratified the four Geneva Conventions, including the one relating to prisoners of war, PA officials charged on Thursday, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post by Khaled Abu Toameh and Tovah Lazaroff.
An Israeli official, however, said that it was the Palestinians who had now made themselves vulnerable by signing the Geneva Conventions.
“According to the Geneva Conventions, the entire Palestinian leadership should be immediately indicted for the thousands of rockets that have been fired from Palestinian territories into Israel in what is a double war crime,” the official said.
Palestinians “deliberately targeted innocent civilians, and they are using Gaza’s civilian population as a human shield….The Palestinians should be extremely careful if they think that international legality can be exploited as a tool against Israel.”
Public opinion in Israel has swung against any further releases as an incentive to the Palestinians to continue negotiations. Such calls grew stronger after a pre-Pesach attack on Monday in which a Palestinian terrorist killed Baruch Mizrachi, a father of five, while he was driving with his family in the West Bank.
Ambassador Alan Baker, a former legal adviser for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, disputed the claim that the Palestinians were prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. The Palestinians are not fighting “an armed conflict….They were put in prison for terrorism and tried for terrorism.”