• Friday, Apr 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:56 pm

ICC prosecutor to probe war crimes in Palestinian Territories, angering Israel

  • Published at 11:37 pm March 3rd, 2021
PALESTINE-ISRAEL-GAZA-CONFLICT
A woman stands holding a Palestinian flag with a cloth sack placed above her head before a barbed-wire fence and next to burning tires, during clashes following a demonstration near the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on June 8, 2018 AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday the International Criminal Court's decision to investigate war crimes in the Palestinian territories was 'anti-Semitic'

The International Criminal Court prosecutor said on Wednesday her office will formally investigate war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, a move welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and denounced by Israel.

The decision comes after the court ruled on February 5 that it has jurisdiction in the case, prompting swift rejection from Washington and Jerusalem.

"The decision to open an investigation followed a painstaking preliminary examination undertaken by my office that lasted close to five years," outgoing Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.

"In the end, our central concern must be for the victims of crimes, both Palestinian and Israeli, arising from the long cycle of violence and insecurity that has caused deep suffering and despair on all sides," Bensouda said.

"My office will take the same principled, non-partisan, approach that it has adopted in all situations over which its jurisdiction is seized."

Bensouda, who will be replaced by British prosecutor Karim Khan on June 16, said in December 2019 that "war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip". She named both the Israeli Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday the International Criminal Court's decision to investigate war crimes in the Palestinian territories was "anti-Semitic."

"In the face of the anti-Semitic decision by the (ICC) in The Hague, there is only one answer: to fight for the truth with all our might, all over the world, and to protect our soldiers," Netanyahu said on Twitter.

The next step will be to determine whether Israel or Palestinian authorities have investigations themselves and to assess those efforts.

‘Long-awaited step’

Israel's government on Wednesday called the court "morally and legally bankrupt."

"The decision to open an investigation against Israel is an exception to the mandate of the tribunal, and a waste of the international community's resources by a biased institution that has lost all legitimacy," Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a statement.

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the prosecutor's investigation.

It is "a long-awaited step that serves Palestine’s tireless pursuit of justice and accountability, which are indispensable pillars of the peace the Palestinian people seek and deserve", the PA foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Islamist militant group Hamas defended its own actions in the conflict.

“We welcome the ICC decision to investigate Israeli occupation war crimes against our people. It is a step forward on the path of achieving justice,” Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told Reuters.

Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, said "ICC member countries should stand ready to fiercely protect the court’s work from any political pressure".

The ICC is a court of last resort established to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide when a country is unable or unwilling to do so.

The prosecutor's office was targeted by sanctions under former US President Donald Trump in response to its investigation in Afghanistan, which is examining the role of US forces.

51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail