Days of Palestine

Sunday, February 5

ICC to open probe into possible Israeli crimes

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Days of Palestine, Reports –Chief prosecutor of the ICC opened a preliminary probe into possible Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Fatou Bensouda pledged to conduct her examination “in full independence and impartiality” into alleged crimes committed “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014,” according to a statement posted on the court’s website on Friday.

Palestinian leaders have declared they accept The Hague-based court’s jurisdiction over their lands, prompting retaliation by the Israeli occupation and condemnation by the US.

Palestinian officials have called court action a “nuclear option” in their quest for statehood after the breakdown of US-led peace talks.

Bensouda will review whether there are sufficient grounds to pursue a formal investigation. The June 13 starting date includes the latest Gaza conflict, which broke out in July and left more than 1,200 Palestinians and 70 Israelis dead.

Netanyahu: ‘Scandalous’

Israeli occupation condemned the investigation. “It is scandalous that mere days after terrorists massacred Jews in France, the ICC prosecutor opens a probe against the Jewish state,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement e-mailed by his office.

He said the decision “makes the court part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

The Rome Statute, the international court’s founding treaty, lays out no deadlines or timelines for making a decision on a preliminary probe.

“The office gives due consideration to all submissions and views conveyed to the office during the course of a preliminary examination, strictly guided by the requirements of the Rome Statute in the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate,” according to the statement.

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