Former US president Jimmy Carter.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Wednesday that the International Criminal Court should probe both Israel and Hamas for possible war crimes committed during Operation Protective Edge.
In an interview with The Huffington Post
, the Nobel laureate said that such an investigation would be “good for both sides.”
"I think it might be a good thing for the International Criminal Court to take an inquisitive look not only at what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians but vice versa," Carter said.
"I’ve been to the places in Israel where Hamas rockets land and I have been there and I’ve condemned the rockets on television, so there are problems both ways. But I think that to expose what has happened on both sides to the world in a very careful and judicial way will probably be good for both sides."
When asked if he believed Israel was guilty of war crimes in Gaza, Carter was noncommittal.
"I think that’s something to be determined by a legal investigation,” the former president said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having the ICC investigate an allegation on both sides and then present their findings to the world.”
Israel has rejected any international inquiry into its 50-day Gaza offensive. It has vowed not to cooperate with the UN Commission of Inquiry headed by Canadian jurist William Schabas.
Carter said that the United States “is in lockstep with Israel” in its opposition to a Palestinian state, a position that is losing traction in the international community.
“About 150 nations recognize Palestine as a nation and an official state, and some of the European countries do as well. Both the parliament of Great Britain and the parliament of France have recently advocated that Palestine be recognized as a state, so even though the United States has always been in lockstep with Israel on these kinds of matters, it’s not a common belief all over the world."
The former president said that he believed in a two-state solution.
"I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Palestinians deserve to have a nation of their own alongside a free and safe and protected nation of Israel," he said.