ICC launches investigation over Israel’s war crimes in Palestine
The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has launched an investigation into Israel's war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
The decision turns the tribunal’s focus toward Israeli military actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
The decision dealt an embarrassing blow to the Israeli regime, which had conducted an aggressive public relations campaign to block the investigation.
It also raised the possibility of arrest warrants being issued against Israeli officials suspected of war crimes.
The ICC probe is headed by chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer and international criminal law prosecutor.
In December 2019 Bensouda announced that such crimes have been, or were being committed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. She named the Israeli military, which has for years unleashed a reign of terror on Palestinians, as a perpetrator of war crimes.
The ICC prosecutor further noted that there was a reasonable basis to launch a probe into Israeli military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, as well as illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Bensouda then asked the judges to rule on the extent of the court's jurisdiction in the case. And the court last month established that it had jurisdiction.