The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories
Author:
Published: 2021-03-03 09:07 am

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.

Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

Bensouda said in 2019 there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Following that assessment, she asked judges to rule on the extent of the court’s jurisdiction in the troubled region. They did that last month, saying that the court’s jurisdiction extends to territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel.

The Palestinians joined the court in 2015 and have long pushed for an investigation of Israel, which is not a member of the court. The Palestinians asked the court to probe Israeli actions during its 2014 war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.

In the past, Israeli officials have accused the court of overstepping its bounds, saying the Palestinians are not an independent sovereign state. Officials say that Israel has been unfairly singled out and reject the allegations. They say military actions in Gaza were acts of self-defense and the status of the West Bank is disputed and must be resolved through negotiations.

The investigation will likely also look into alleged crimes by Palestinian militants. Bensouda has said her probe would look into the actions of Hamas, which fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel during the 2014 war.

Bensouda said how prosecutors prioritize their work will be “determined in due time” based on constraints including the coronavirus pandemic, limited resources and their existing heavy workload.

“Such challenges, however, as daunting and complex as they are, cannot divert us from ultimately discharging the responsibilities that the Rome Statute places upon the Office,” she said, referring to the court’s founding treaty.

————

Associated Press Writer Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed.

Read Full Story

NBA says 1 player has tested positive for virus in past week

abcnews.go.com - 2 months ago
The NBA said one player tested positive for coronavirus in the past week, meaning only two have gotten that diagnosis in the last three weeks
Read More

DoorDash shares soar 78% in stock market debut

abcnews.go.com - 4 months ago
DoorDash shares soared 78% as the meal delivery service made its debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange
Read More

Former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski dies in avalanche

abcnews.go.com - 3 weeks ago
Julie Pomagalski, a former Olympic snowboarder and world champion from France, was killed in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps on Tuesday, authorities said. She was 40.
Read More

Melania Trump casts herself as a victim in 1st statement on Capitol siege

abcnews.go.com - 3 months ago
First lady Melania Trump on Monday made her first comments on Wednesday's deadly Capitol siege.
Read More