Palestine asks ICC to investigate Israel's 'war crimes'

Palestine asks ICC to investigate Israel's 'war crimes'

"The colonial regime practices forced displacement of Palestinian people and illegal transfer of Israeli citizens to a territory under occupation to perpetuate ir presence (.) What includes expansion of settlements and ir linked infrastructures, such as wall (barrier of separation), and blockade of Gaza Strip, "ensures a communiqué prior to denunciation of Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs".

But it has yet to move to the next stage and open a full-blown investigation which could possibly lead to charges being brought.

According to a Palestinian statement, the so-called referral that Mr Al Maliki handed to the court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on Tuesday underscored "that there is sufficient compelling evidence of the ongoing commission of grave crimes to warrant an immediate investigation".

"The Palestinians continue to exploit the court for political purposes, rather than work towards resuming the peace process with Israel", a statement said.

Israel called the move "cynical" and claimed the request to the ICC has no legal validity.

The PLO is also calling on the worldwide community to "assume its legal, human and moral responsibilities" to guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people under global law and global humanitarian law.

Since March, Israel has killed more than 108 Palestinians and wounded thousands in Gaza through its use of live ammunition to disperse peaceful protests for the Right of Return. It is vital for the ICC to assume a principled and just stand and open an official, speedy and criminal investigation into Israel's egregious violations being committed throughout occupied Palestine.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki speaks during a press conference at the International Criminal Court
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki speaks during a press conference at the International Criminal Court

This comes a week after 63 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces during protests against a USA decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The referral also mentions that the state of Palestine accepted ICC's jurisdiction in 2014, asserted the foreign minister.

The Palestinians believe the settlement case to be their strongest to take to the ICC.

Mr Al Maliki said he had filed for an investigation into Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and included the recent bloodshed in Gaza, where Israeli forces shot dead more than 100 protesters, including children, over several rounds of weekly protests.

According to its website, the court is now investigating 11 "situations", the bulk of them in sub-Saharan Africa, involving allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership of Fatah has frozen ties with the White House over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Israel has said it was defending its border and accused Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group using the unrest to carry out attempted attacks and of using civilians as human shields. Israel also captured Gaza in the 1967 war.

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