World The International Criminal Court will investigate alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories

15:23  04 march  2021
15:23  04 march  2021 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  La Cour pénale internationale va enquêter sur des crimes présumés dans les territoires palestiniens © Copyright 2021, L'Obs

The Attorney General of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Gambian Fatou Bensouda, announced on Wednesday March 3 that she had opened a investigating alleged crimes committed by members of the Israeli forces, Israeli authorities, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza war in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the summer of 2014 , Israel launched an operation to halt rocket fire by Palestinian Hamas from the Gaza Strip, then under a blockade imposed by the Hebrew state, into its territory. Some 2,250 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians, and 74 Israelis, mostly soldiers, perished in the clashes.

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The investigation will be conducted "with complete independence, impartiality and objectivity, without fear or bias," assured Fatou Bensouda. “Ultimately, it is the victims of both Palestinians and Israelis of the long cycle of violence and insecurity, which has caused deep suffering and terrible feeling. "

Investigation" necessary "for the Palestinian Authority

This announcement provoked many reactions. While Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki welcomed this decision, declaring that "the crimes committed by the leaders of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people - which are ongoing, systematic and widespread - make this investigation necessary and urgent ", The Israeli Prime Minister blasted" a decision which is the very essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy ".

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"We will defend every soldier, every officer, every civilian and I promise you that we will fight for the truth until this scandalous decision is overturned", added Benyamin Netayahou.

In early February, after a request from the prosecutor in November , the ICC said it had jurisdiction to try alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, a decision already denounced by Israel, for which such an announcement amounted to de facto recognition of a state Palestinian, whose borders should also be the subject of a peace agreement.

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Jerusalem has received the support of its American ally , which judges the International Criminal Court "not competent", Israel not being part of the ICC and the Palestinians not being "a sovereign state" , said Ned Price, spokesman for US diplomacy. "The United States has always believed that the jurisdiction of the Court should be confined to the countries which grant it or in the event of referral by the Security Council of the United Nations.

The administration of Donald Trump had taken distrust of the ICC to its extreme by directly sanctioning Fatouma Bensouda and other officials for deciding to investigate allegations of US war crimes in Afghanistan. Joe Biden's government could reverse these sanctions.

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Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, then annexed mainly East Jerusalem. Today, these territories are home to at least five million Palestinians, defined by the United Nations as living under Israeli occupation.

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