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Wednesday, March 3, 2021 20:53
Convicted in Israel and branded anti-Semitic, Palestinians welcomed an investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague into war crimes in the Palestinian territories, Yedio Ahronot reported on ynet on Wednesday.
Fatou Bensouda, Attorney General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, has previously announced that the ICC is launching a formal investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories. He stressed that the investigation would be conducted independently, impartially and objectively, without bias. The decision to open an investigation was made after almost five years of long preliminary investigations, Bensouda said. He added:
the next step will be to determine and assess whether the Palestinian and Israeli authorities have conducted their own investigations.
The decision was not surprising, as the ICC Judicial Council, which hears applications, ruled on 5 February that the criminal court has jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes and atrocities committed in the Palestinian territories.
Israeli leaders, a significant number of political parties, and representatives of the West Bank settlers condemned the Hague decision to launch an investigation in statements.
“Israel was attacked tonight,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
– The biased court in The Hague has made a decision that is a condensation of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy. The tribunal set up to prevent a recurrence of the atrocities of the Nazis against the Jewish people is now turning against the state of the Jewish people. Of course, he does not say a word against Iran, Syria and other dictatorial regimes that do commit real war crimes, he added, and vowed to do everything he could to reverse the decision.
– We do not accept the argument against our right and duty to protect our citizens.
Israel is a strong, Jewish and democratic state that defends itself and is able to investigate itself if necessary, stressed Head of State Reuven Rivlin.
“At the end of his term, Attorney General Fatou Bensouda made a political decision, trying to set priority priorities before his successor took office, turning the court into a tool for extremists and providing support to terrorist and anti-Semitic organizations,” said Foreign Minister Gabi Askenazi.
The Palestinian Authority welcomed the decision in The Hague.
– The investigation is aimed at the Palestinians’ quest to find out and bring justice to the Palestinian people who deserve it.
– emphasized the communication of the authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hamas, the Islamist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, also welcomed the launch of the investigation. “Our resistance is legitimate and its aim is to protect our people,” said Hazem Kassem, a spokesman for Hamas, referring to the possible investigation into Hamas.
The ynet recalled that the investigation is likely to investigate not only possible war crimes by the Israeli army, but also crimes committed by Palestinian organizations, such as rocket launches against Israeli civilian settlements.
Our paper used to get a picture of the legal battle with the help of the first Palestinian counselor in Paris, the Israeli ambassador in Budapest and an international lawyer. The article can be read here.
The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, has been joined by 123 countries, but the United States, Russia, Israel and China do not accept the jurisdiction of the body. The ICC is the world’s first permanent tribunal to investigate crimes against war and humanity even when a country is unable or unwilling to do so. The Tribunal can only rule on crimes committed after 1 July 2002, and its jurisdiction extends to countries that have ratified its statute. (MTI)