International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Palestine

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Demonstrators outside the International Criminal Court call for the Israeli army to be prosecuted for war crimes, The Hague, Nov 2019. (photo: Peter de Jong / AP)
There is sufficient evidence to investigate alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the court has announced.

By Peter Beaumont | The Guardian | Dec 20, 2019

‘In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.’
— Fatou Bensouda, ICC Chief Prosecutor

In a landmark decision, the ICC said it saw “no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”

The announcement ended years of preliminary investigations into alleged crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinians, and signaled that the court was preparing to open a formal investigation.

A statement published by the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the court’s website on Friday said her office “has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome statute for the opening of an investigation have been met.”

Bensouda’s statement followed a legal opinion published earlier on Friday by Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, arguing that the court had no jurisdiction in the West Bank or in Gaza — apparently intended to pre-empt an imminent decision.

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