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January 24, 2021 10:47 am

Report: Israel Concerned Over ICC Probe After Ouster of Donald Trump

avatar by i24 News

The International Criminal Court. Photo: ICC Website.

i24 News – Jerusalem fears that the new US administration will prompt judges on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, Hebrew-language broadcaster Kan reported on Sunday.

Officials in Jerusalem told the public news outlet that with the ouster of former President Donald Trump from the White House, The Hague may feel emboldened to move against Israel without the threat of sanction or retaliation.

Such an investigation would have broad implications for many high-level Israeli political and military officials, who could be subjected to international arrest warrants issued by members of the tribunal.

In December 2019, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that there was sufficient evidence to open an investigation into suspicions of war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem.

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Bensouda, who has previously stated that as a member of the Rome Statute “Palestine” has a right to seek recourse through the ICC, has asked a three-judge panel of the ICC Pretrial Chamber to ratify her decision before moving forward.

The panel, however, has yet to submit an opinion on the issue.

In June, Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague over its probe into possible US war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

And in September, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would impose sanctions on Bensouda, accusing the court of “illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction.”

“The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution,” Pompeo said in a statement announcing the decision.

“This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court.”

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