ICC Formally Opens Investigation Into ‘War Crimes’ in Palestinian Territories
i24 News – The International Criminal Court (ICC) officially opened an investigation into alleged war crimes carried out in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip during the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in a statement Wednesday.
“I confirm the initiation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of an investigation respecting the Situation in Palestine,” the statement read. “The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office.”
Israel is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, a position backed by its close ally the United States.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed the move, describing it as “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.”
Earlier in the day, Israel’s Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said that he was making every effort to protect Israelis from the ICC investigation, recognizing that he, along with hundreds of other Israelis, is expected to be among its subjects.
Last month, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the ICC ruled that it had jurisdiction to investigate Israeli and Palestinian war crimes that “we will fight this perversion of justice with all our might. This is pure antisemitism.”