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Tags: war | crimes | prosecutor | probe | palestinian

War Crimes Prosecutor Opens Probe Sought by Palestinian Leaders

Friday, 16 January 2015 12:19 PM EST

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary investigation into the Palestinian Authority’s accusations of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Fatou Bensouda pledged to conduct her examination "in full independence and impartiality" into alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014," according to a statement posted on the court’s website.

In a move that produced retaliation by Israel and condemnation by the U.S., Palestinian leaders submitted a declaration this month accepting the court’s jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands. That authorized Bensouda to begin reviewing whether there are sufficient grounds to pursue a formal investigation. The June 13 starting date includes the latest Gaza conflict, which broke out in July.

The Rome Statute, the international court’s founding treaty, lays out no deadlines or timelines for making a decision on a preliminary probe.

"The office gives due consideration to all submissions and views conveyed to the office during the course of a preliminary examination, strictly guided by the requirements of the Rome Statute in the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate," according to the statement.

'Nuclear Option'

Officials of the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, have called court action their "nuclear option" after U.S.-led peace talks stalled. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered that the authority is liable for war crimes for forming "a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization."

Israel froze a monthly transfer of about 500 million shekels ($127 million) in sales and customs taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, and U.S. lawmakers have made moves to reduce or halt aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Bensouda, a 53-year-old Gambian lawyer, currently has eight other preliminary investigations under way, including allegations of torture committed by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and crimes committed by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his officials during Nov. 2013-Feb. 2014 protests.

 

© Copyright 2022 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


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The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary investigation into the Palestinian Authority's accusations of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.
war, crimes, prosecutor, probe, palestinian
314
2015-19-16
Friday, 16 January 2015 12:19 PM
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