ISRAEL And Hamas Could Be Investigated For Alleged War Crimes by the International Criminal Court
A ruling late on Friday night (February 5) by The International Criminal Court (ICC), after a meeting of judges in a pre-trial chamber of the ICC in The Hague, concluded that it has the legal remit to hear war crimes allegations made against Israel in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, and also against the leaders of the Palestinian faction Hamas in Gaza.
Fatou Bensouda, who is the ICC’s chief prosecutor, six years ago initiated an investigation into the 50-day war in 2014 in Gaza, during which 67 Israeli soldiers died, but more than 2000 Palestinians were killed, and 10,000 wounded, and this latest ruling allows a criminal investigation to start at any time if wanted reports Sky News.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister said about the decision, “Today the court proved once again that it is a political body and not a judicial institution. The court ignores real war crimes and instead persecutes the state of Israel, a state with a firm democratic regime, which sanctifies the rule of law, and is not a member of the court”.
B’Tselem, a leading human rights organisation released a staement, “The decision follows the facts of the matter and brings hope towards an end for impunity”.
It continued, “Further, we hope that the ICC decision will have a restraining effect on Israeli actions, even before the investigation advances, for example in preventing further attempts to forcibly transfer Palestinian communities, such as the ones we witnessed this week in the South Hebron Hills and in the Jordan Valley”.
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