Palestine takes Israel to the International Criminal Court

Mindy Sparks
May 22, 2018

The Palestinian foreign minister on Tuesday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) "to open an immediate investigation" into allegations of war crimes and apartheid against the Palestinian people.

Riyad al-Maliki met the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, at the tribunal on Tuesday in The Hague and referred the case, calling it an "important and historic step towards justice for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer ongoing, widespread and systematic crimes".

Israel says it takes a "severe view" of the Palestinian request to the International Criminal Court for a probe into alleged Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and is urging ICC to reject what it called a "cynical step".

Malki said the referral addressed a myriad of issues, including "settlement expansion, land grabs, illegal exploitation of natural resources, as well as the brutal and calculated targeting of unarmed protesters, particularly in the Gaza Strip".

At least 119 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel since mass demonstrations started on 30 March, according to authorities in Gaza.

We call on the global community to assume its legal, human and moral responsibilities to put an end to the decades-long Palestinian suffering by guaranteeing the rights of the Palestinian people under worldwide law and worldwide humanitarian law.

"There is a culture of impunity in Israel for crimes against Palestinians", Maliki said. They authorized the court to investigate the 2014 conflict in Gaza.

The step was sure to worsen the already troubled relations between the internationally backed Palestinian Authority and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Bensouda said in April: "Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza - could constitute could the use of civilian presence for the goal of shielding military activities".

Israel claims the West Bank is not occupied because it was captured from Jordan, not the Palestinians, and Jordan does not make a claim to the territory.

The Palestinian Authority has used global law to fight the occupation. The Palestinians first filed against Israel at the court in June 2015.

While the ICC can indict suspects, it has no police force and has to rely on member states to enforce arrest warrants.

But while a referral does not automatically trigger an investigation, it applies more pressure on the prosecutor to open one.

Just days before that breach, four other Palestinians crossed from Gaza into Israel where they set fire to military equipment.

Both Palestinian and global rights groups have long called for the ICC to open a formal investigation.

The United Nations Security Council gave last salvo on settlements to Israel in December 2106 by approving - unanimously by its members, except for abstention from United States, which did not exercise its right to veto - resolution 2334, which denied legitimacy to The colonies built since six-day war.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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