time. >> only on al jazeera america. ♪ the icc says it will open a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes committed in palestinian territories. ♪ hello and welcome to al jazeera, i'm sammy live from headquarters in doha and also ahead protests in pakistan against the french newspaper charlie hebdo, prosecutors stopped a major plot to kill police officers and an al jazeera exclusive from the democratic republic of congo where rebels accused of using their families as human shields. ♪
we begin our developing news out of the hague in the netherlands where the international criminal court will begin a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes committed in palestinian territories the president signed up to the rome statute in december that is the document that establishes the jurisdiction of the international criminal court. the move was taken by abass a day after palestinian leaders failed to get a resolution passed at u.n. security council calling to an end to israeli occupation. it followed a conflict in july and august last year between israel and hamas that devastated the gaza trip 21 o-0 killed and 70% were civilians according to the united nations, almost 500
children among the dead and more than 250 of them were women. and israel also suffered casualties, 66 military personnel killed along with six israeli civilians and a ty national. let's speak to a u.n. special rap and good to have you with us and many have long complained of impunty and lack of accountability and do you believe this to be a turning point and will justice now be done? >> i think it's a symbolic turning point whether there is the will and the capability to actually hold israeli leaders accountable remains to be seen and i would say it's quite doubtful given the overall
political situation and given the limited authority that the international criminal court possesses. nevertheless, one shouldn't under estimate the importance of this symbolic step and it's already outraged the israeli foreign minister which suggests that it's not something trivial or inconsequential. it is in effect a move toward saying israel has defied international criminal law, it is now at least being subjected to an international inquiry from an impartial source. >> i'm interested what you meant there when you mentioned politics you of course have been in a very sensitive position looking into human rights issues give us an understanding and sense of what sort of political pressures people like you come under and
perhaps the icc might come under in trying to pursue justice. >> well it's complicated reality i think. we have to understand that international law is to a great degree controlled and shaped by the way in which the primary state in the world behaves. in other words, the u.n. itself can be very effective as in libya when the geo political forces were behind its initiative. but when those geo political forces try to block the implementation of international law, then it's very difficult to up hold human rights international law and it has been the beneficiary of geo political efforts mainly by the
united states and western europe to avoid holding it accountable for compliance with international law. and so that creates a very difficult situation at the international level, i faced it in the human rights council, the international criminal court will undoubtedly face a variety of pressures brought to bear on its budget brought to bear on its international reputation if it does indeed proceed to go beyond this preliminary investigation to try to issue arrest warrants or move more in a more direct way. >> now the investigation we understand is linked to a territory, who should be in your experience with this sort of issue, who should be investigated at this point on both sides? you mentioned israel of course there is a lot of human rights groups that have talked about
crimes committed by israel one assumes probably both sides under the microscope now too. >> yes. there is no question that both sides will be under the microscope. and it would be the political and military leadership of both israel and gaza. i don't think the palestinian authority as such has had any relationship to these activities that could be alleged as crimes. what is likely to be the focus of the inquiry, what is the israeli attack of last summer on gaza and its settlement policy in the west bank. and on both of those sets of issues international law is clearly opposed to the policies
that israel has pursued. as far as the rockets that would be the focus of allegations of criminality against hamas is concerned, this situation from the icc point of view is a little bit more clouded because they just decided in relation to a complaint about the momara incident the fact that nine turkish nationals were killed was not of sufficient gravity from the perspective of this international tribunal to justify a full fledged prosecution. so as only six israelis were killed one would think that they might come to a similar conclusion which would of course be politically quite problematic. my guess is they would avoid
that kind of conclusion and link the hamas allegations to the allegations against israel and treat both of them or neither of them as subject to a fuller investigation and indictment and arrest warrants. >> fascinating, the role politics sometimes plays in justice, thanks for your thoughts on that. >> well thank you so much for having me. multiple attacks in the iraqi capitol and surrounding areas killed nine people three more shells and shia north of baghdad killing four people and bombs exploded at a wholesale market in the west of the capitol and northeast of baghdad. anti-government protests across regions in egypt, demonstrators in cairo were demanding egyptian president resign and some
protesters held pictures of deposed mohamed morsi removed two years ago. protests in pakistan against the french newspaper charlie hebdo on wednesday it published a cartoon with mohamed on the front cover and the largest demonstration happened in the pakistani port city of karachi and used rubber bullets to clear protesters outside of the counselor and demonstrations in the capitol islamabad and protesters there were members of the religious party. and we were at the protest in islamabad and sent us this report. >> reporter: there is anger across pakistan on the publication of the cartoons in charlie hebdo magazine the people are deeply conservative and do not take kindly to any
insults hurt of the prophet of islam. the measure adjust from the people and islamic parties is this is an act and the house of parliament has already passed a unanimous resolution condemning the publication of the cartoons in the french magazine over the next few days there is likely to be more anger on the streets across pakistan on this particular act committed by magazine that says that it is upholding free speech. however in pakistan and across the islamic world there is an opinion that free speech should not insult other religions. >> 12 people have been arrested in france in a series of overnight raids. police say some of them may have provided logistic support last week's paris attacks, u.s. secretary of state john kerry visited the attacks including the jewish supermarket and charlie hebdo.
prosecutors foiled the plan to kill police officers after a series of overnight police raids. two suspects were killed southeast of the capitol brussels and we report with barker. >> reporter: the street where the raid took place police stand guard, buildings bear the marks of a fierce gun fight. the raid left two suspects dead. a third was arrested. this police raid was one of a dozen across the country, the authorities say they prevented an imminent attack on a grand scale. >> this operation was meant to dismantle not only the terrorist cell but also the logistic network behind it. this justification for the time being has shown that these people had the intention to kill several policemen in the street. >> reporter: this was the scene on thursday evening, unfire and
explosions ring out as police storm the building the man who filmed the images has lived the street several years and suspicions but anything like this could happen on your street? >> no not especially no. i would like to say that it's very very sad and we don't want to see this and we don't want to see this. >> reporter: a large muslim population. people are trying to make sense of what happened. this is not islam says this woman, the karan doesn't want people to kill. this woman fears people will start to pay negative attention and she doesn't want her life to change. after the raid investigators uncovered bomb making equipment, money and importantly police uniforms. it's thought the police themselves may have been the intended target of a possible attack. hundreds of citizens are suspected of joining is militants and groups fighting in
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in the occupied palestinian territories and launch an offensive last july and u.n. says most of them were civilians. and charlie hebdo protests taking place in muslim countries and the largest happened in the port city of karachi, they followed a plan to kill police officers and suspects died in an overnight raid southeast of the capitol brussels. let's return to the top story the icc initial inquiry into possible war crimes committed in palestinian territories and our editor is live from u.n. headquarters in new york and starting to hear reaction and tell us what is going on from the israeli side. >> well certainly we are hearing some israeli reaction now coming from the foreign minister and the prime minister and worth
reminding viewers it's a holy day for people in israel for the jewish population in israel that is why reaction in the last couple hours perhaps not as swift as it would be at so other times of the week. we heard from the israeli foreign minister earlier and he even said to one israeli journalist israel would try to liquidate the court. more comments now coming from benjamin netanyahu the israeli prime minister from israeli media quoting the prime minister and icc decision is a scandal days after the french jews opened inquiry in the screw issue strait and rejects icc is part of the problem, not the solution. and netanyahu also quoted by the i 24 channel of israel as icc decision absurd and authority cooperates with the hamas group
and fights terror and getting an idea i think of the tone of the israeli reaction none of that at this stage on camera because it is a religious time for jews right now. >> all right and james give us an idea here if this does go to a full investigation, a, how long could that take? what is the timeline? b what exactly would be investigated? >> well this is as you say a preliminary examination. so it's an initial inquiry to see whether they should be a full examination. this period of a preliminary examination is not set. the chief prosecutor can spend as long as she likes looking at this before deciding to launch a formal investigation then eventually could lead to a trial. so the timelines are pretty open. the judicial process has started with the very earliest stage of it. remember though that technically palestine is not yet a member and under the jurisdiction of
the international criminal court. that comes in april. so it's possible there could be further legal action from april on ward because this is in reference to a declaration that the palestinians made along with their application for membership saying they wanted jurisdiction to go back until june last year. from april, the prosecutor can also look at other aspects of this. for example, settlements. now the whole idea of one country building settlements in another is specifically mentioned in that rome statute. so this doesn't mean this is the full scope of potential legal activity in the future but worth reminding viewers again this is a preliminary examination. this is not a formal icc inquiry yet. it's an initial inquiry to see if there should be one. >> our senior editor there. troops and united nations forces
about to launch in the eastern democratic of congo and deadline for them to surrender passed on january the 2. the group being targeted is the democratic forces for liberation of rwanda or fdlr and the largest rebel group in the eastern drc with 1400 fighters. the rebels are accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide in rwanda before crossing over the border into the democratic republic of congo and may be hard to together as they blended in civilian population and could use them as human shields but they hope if the fdlr is defeated other armed groups in the region will also disintegrate and we have this exclusive from from the eastern drc. >> reporter: we have to drive through eastern congo hills for two days to meet with fdlr rebels and most people living
here have more contact with armed groups than their own government and fighters from neighboring rwanda have been hiding in this area since 1994. some of the groups members accused of genocide back home. it's also been accused of mass rapes and killing civilians in congo. we reach a hill top village under fdlr control and shows us around and said they laid down arms and don't want to fight and said they want a dialog with the rwanda government. >> translator: they tell us we are criminals, let them point out the criminals among us and we will sideline them. but what about the rwanda army massacres of people in rwanda and congo and the solution for the problem is truth and reconciliation. >> reporter: no fighters or guns on show here. instead we are taken to a meeting with their wives and children. the fdlr says they are among the victims of any attack. the rebels given the second of january deadline to surrender and few have done so and insist
the process is underway but u.n. says many of the fighters are hidden in the bush preparing for battle and the groups using the families as a human shield. there are fdlr fighters at the top of the hills and government troops themselves in the valley waiting for orders to go ahead with offensive and it's tough and the slopes are steep and covered in bush so even with the support of the u.n. artillery it's going to be hard to defeat fdlr and across the border in rwanda says dialog is out of the question and spoke to the prime minister. >> it's not an organization, it's a bunch of thugs who committed genocide and who have kept civilians and families hostage. so that should be very clear that nobody should even think
political claim that this group can have. >> reporter: back in congo government soldiers deploy with fresh supplies. everyone here is waiting to see if and when the fighting will begin. and if it can bring an end to a regional conflict fought on ethnic lines dragged on more than 20 years, i'm with al jazeera in the democratic republic of congo. chad is reportedly sent soldiers to cameroon to fight the nigerian group boko haram and fighters from boko haram attacked the army base earlier this week and nigeria president good luck jonathan had a different attack by the group in the northern state. france has urged several african nations to build a coalition in order to crush boko haram. and we have more from the nigerian capitol abuja. >> reporter: a flurry of diplomatic activity in nigeria and cameroon and seen the
secretary of state john kerry talking about the possibility of united states and united kingdom intervening to bring to an end this unfortunate development that is hurting nigeria and neighbors and saw the president asking for assistance from his counterpart from chad in dealing with boko haram threats. now the parliament on friday passed a resolution authorizing the deployment of troops to cameroon and nigeria but the meantime the troops are going to cameroon because nigeria has not requested assistance from chad to deal with the crisis. the original grouping the economic community of west africa state is talking about setting up a regional task force to deal with the threat of boko haram as well as other terror activities in the member state. this shows that countries in the region and countries observing what is happening in parts of nigeria and cameroon are really concerned with this development. we will probably see the deployment of foreign troops
from maybe the united states britain and other west african countries as well as the member states of the african union but the big question is how will some nigeria take the document because many are very suspicious of the presence of foreign troops especially from the west on their own soil. flooding killed dozens of people in southern africa malowi hit hard with 48 deaths and 100,000 people homeless and we report from south of the country. >> reporter: on tuesday at dawn when flood waters swept through this township in southern malawi and waters came from the hills carrying huge rocks. several people and livestock were swept away 40 houses were destroyed. and this is a brother home here and salvaged nothing and 11-year-old enough was sleeping.
he drown. >> it was a boom and then we come to check and found there is nothing. >> reporter: people are searching for those who are still missing. this man is looking for the bodies of a young boy and another man who we understand were living in that house. they think that the bodies are under the matt after hours they found nothing but say they will not stop looking. a short distance away hundreds who escaped took refuge in the school and sleeping on classroom floors with little food and hardly any utensils to cook with. this woman told us though that she is just happy she got her four children out safely. >> translator: we've never experienced this before. i managed to take some of my children's clothes but nothing else. >> reporter: it gets worse as you go further south. thousands are trapped in villages that are hard to
access, it's a disaster that malawi president says the country cannot deal with alone. catherine with al jazeera, southern malawi. pope francis called on leaders in the philippines for corruption and he made comments in manila and this is a visit to the mainly catholic nation in 20 years and harry faucet reports from manila. >> reporter: pope francis wasted no time tackling politics on the first day of the visit to philippines and said the country leaders needed to get serious about corruption poverty and what he called inequality. >> it is now more than ever necessary that political leaders be outstanding for the integrity and a commitment to the common world. >> reporter: the philippine president has waged an
anticorruption drive but one which critics say dis disproportionate lyly has leaders and they are at the cathedral for the visit and the sight of the man himself. >> pope francis is actually here. i want to be enlightened and want to be inspired and all the things he suggests are very doable and people can follow him, his example. >> reporter: new waves of excitement and expressions of love. but in the cathedral where he began the sermon quoting jesus words from the gospel. >> love for me and thank you very much. [applause] his main message focused on poverty and need for traditional values in a society where church attendance is valuing and use of government funded conception on the rise.
>> for those who are living in the means of society burdened by poverty and corruption have broken the spirit and the ability and truth of the christian message. >> reporter: the philippine church says his visit and inspirational presence will be awake up call. he spoke in english with a direct message for those inside and outside the cathedral about the need to fight inequality and poverty and this is the theme of the visit and that and the sheer crush of people on the streets trying to catch a glimpse. later for families much more than a glimpse, pope francis came to emphasize the importance of family in a nation where so many have a need for one or more parents to travel abroad to work. harry faucet al jazeera manila. now scientists in the united states say 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded and last year surpassed 2010 as the warmest
year on record dating back to 1880 that was when temperatures were first recorded. the ten warmest years have all occurred since 1997. you can get more on the stories and more if you head over to al jazeera.com. i'm david at al jazeera headquarters in new york you are looking at a live picture from the east room in the white house, president obama and british prime minister david cameron about to hold a joint press conference and follows a lengthy meeting this morning, the second discussion they had at the white house in as many days the topics among other things included cyber security eu sanctions against russia and u.s. trade deal wit