Israel yet to decide on ICC probe on ‘war crimes’, says official

Israel is yet to decide whether it will cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, a senior Justice Ministry official said on Thursday.

The decision by the court’s outgoing prosecutor to probe Israeli military’s actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war was announced on Wednesday.

The move was condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy”.

Roy Schondorf, Deputy Attorney-General for International Law, Israeli Ministry of Justice, told Army Radio that the court’s decision was driven by “political agendas” and that opening an investigation was unjustified, but that Israel has not rejected any participation outright. “The court’s conduct until now, and the prosecutor’s in particular, doesn’t inspire great trust in the way the procedures will transpire,” said Mr. Schondorf.

The decision turns the court’s focus towards two Israeli policies: its repeated military operations against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, highlighted by a devastating 2014 war, and its expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian National Authority welcomed Wednesday’s move, while the U.S. State Department said it opposed the decision.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 2:28:57 PM |

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