Israel urges ICC to reject Palestinian request

  • Israel urges ICC to reject Palestinian request

Israel urges ICC to reject Palestinian request

The ICC launched a preliminary probe into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2015.

A female demonstrator wears a plastic bag to protect herself from tear gas as another gestures during a protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City May 18, 2018.

The Palestinian foreign minister has called on the global criminal court to immediately open an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, and apartheid.

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki is scheduled to meet Tuesday morning with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at The Hague to hand her a new file against Israel, to follow on previous submissions to the court.

It was an "important and historic step towards justice for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer ongoing, widespread and systematic crimes", Maliki told reporters afterwards.

"This referral is Palestine's test to the global mechanism of accountability and respect for worldwide law", he added.

Tuesday's referral allows that investigation to proceed to the next stage of a full investigation, without waiting for a judge to give approval.

It accuses Hamas of using the demonstrations to approach and damage the border fence, including laying explosive devices and attacking soldiers.

"Palestinians have raised their voices in peaceful demand of their basic human rights and an end to the closure and blockade of Gaza that maintains their dire living conditions; Israel responded by deploying snipers to fire onto unarmed protesters", said Younis.

It accused the Palestinians of violent incitement against Israel and exploiting women and children as human shields. The ICC recognizes "Palestine" as a member state.

Bensouda confirmed she had received the referral and said in her statement she had "to consider issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice" in deciding what to do.

Israel has not joined the court, but because the Palestinians have, Israelis could be targeted for crimes committed on Palestinian lands.

The ICC has recognised "Palestine" as a member state.

While the ICC can indict suspects, it has no police force and has to rely on cooperation from member states to enforce arrest warrants.

The Palestinians appear to have an especially strong case in the matter of settlements.

The reasons behind the PA's decision not to make such a move earlier, she explained, were linked to how approximately "one million Palestinians" were on the PA's payroll, adding that "international donors have also played a role in making it clear that they will not support a PA that is actually defending Palestinian rights".

In late 2016, the UN Security Council also declared the settlements to be illegal.

Israel has been building settler units across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds), since 1967, when it occupied the territory during an all-out war.

The majority of the worldwide community considers Israeli settlements to be illegal under global law.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership of Fatah has frozen ties with the White House over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Since Jordan has relinquished its claim to the territory, Israel says the area is disputed, and its fate should be decided through negotiations.