'Grave Crimes': Palestinians Ask International Criminal Court to Investigate Israel

Federico Mansilla
May 22, 2018

Statement said that with the gravity and intensification of crimes committed in the territory of the State of Palestine and the impunity with which Israeli officials and other citizens commit those crimes, it has become necessary for the State of Palestine to take this step. "This referral is Palestine's test to the worldwide mechanism of accountability and respect for global law".

Leading Western states regularly visited by Israeli officials have so far strictly resisted calls by human rights groups to apprehend the officials over the regime's atrocities against Palestinians.

Maliki will meet with prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday morning just over a week after 62 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire as they protested the USA decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

Among ors, death of civilians without legal cause, expulsion of Palestinian people in occupied territories, illegal appropriation of ir lands, demolition of ir houses and premises, and Israeli policy of "arbitrary detentions" are included.

"The ICC lacks jurisdiction over the Israeli-Palestinian issue, since Israel is not a member of the court and because the Palestinian Authority is not a state", the Israeli ministry added in a statement.

The display of animous towards the delegation came exactly one week after the Trump administration officially moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem-a move seen as a direct assault on the so-called "peace process" and the demand that East Jerusalem ultimately become the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.

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Palestinian foreign minister has requested the International Criminal Court to open an immediate investigation into Israel's settlements in the Palestinian territories and human rights violations.

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The ICC has been conducting a preliminary probe since 2015 into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, including Israel's settlement policy and crimes allegedly committed by Israel and the Hamas militant group in the 2014 Gaza conflict. Israel has traditionally refused to cooperate with ICC.

If the ICC were to show intellectual honesty in this case, it could end up ruling that the Israeli settlements are not a violation of the convention and therefore not at all a war crime. Over 600,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a number that would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to uproot.

The decision to file a case at the ICC is part of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's wider diplomatic campaign against Israel that has sought to "internationalise the struggle".

A total of at least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, according to authorities in Gaza. Israel also captured Gaza in the 1967 war.

While the Gaza withdrawal removed some 8,000 settlers, the much larger population in the West Bank and east Jerusalem would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to move.

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