Palestinians ask ICC to investigate Israel

22 May, 2018, 20:55 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Palestinian minister delivers Israel 'war crimes' referral to ICC

The meeting at the ICC comes amid heightened tensions in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, after more than 60 Palestinians protesting the U.S. decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem were killed by Israeli fire last week.

"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".

Israel is not a signatory to the ICC, and its foreign ministry said the country took "a severe view" of what it called an absurd and politicised referral, which it described as a cynical step.

In response to the Israeli position, Hamas stressed that the occupation's rejection of an worldwide commission of inquiry into the recent massacres is evidence of its involvement in a war crime.

Israel claims east Jerusalem as an inseparable part of its capital - though its annexation is not global recognised.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements that are illegal under the worldwide law, which prohibits construction on occupied land.

The ICC had already launched a preliminary examination into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2015. More than 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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The Referral could speed up a decision on whether to open a full-blown investigation that could ultimately lead to the indictment of high-ranking Israelis, The Washington Post reported. Some 60 people were killed last Monday alone - in protests meant to coincide with the opening of the new U.S. Embassy. But that position is not internationally recognized. "It is a charitable foundation that provides grants to organisations working with Palestinian refugee children living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza".

Since the Palestinians never ruled the West Bank, Israel says this territory is disputed and its final status should be resolved in negotiations.

Concerning the recent bloodshed in Gaza, Israel has accused the territory's Hamas rulers of using a series of recent mass protests as a cover for attacks and endangering civilians by using them as human shields.

The ICC is a court of last resort. This is a test the International Criminal Court can not afford to fail.

In a summary report of the court's activities for 2017, the ICC said it had progressed in its work to determine "whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the United Nations to establish a peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, to prevent further killings.

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