ICC WANTS TO OPEN 'WAR CRIMES' INVESTIGATION IN WEST BANK AND GAZA


21/12/2019




Selin ATAY-TDO-The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor says she wants to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories. Fatou Bensouda said "war crimes" had been or were being committed in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, and asked for a ruling on the court's territorial jurisdiction.

Israel called the ICC move "baseless".In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ICC, of which Israel is not a member, had "no jurisdiction in this case", and that the decision had turned the Hague-based court into a "political tool to delegitimize the State of Israel".

Persons who are issued arrest or arrest warrants during the trial can be arrested when they go to a state that is a member of the ICC.

In her ruling, Ms Bensouda said a preliminary examination had gathered enough information to meet all criteria to open an investigation, and that she was "satisfied that there [was] a reasonable basis to proceed" with an inquiry. "[T]here are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice," she said, adding that she had filed a request with judges to rule on what territory a future inquiry would cover because of the contested legal and factual issues of the territories.

Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. The ICC has been examining a case brought by the Palestinians since 2015.


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