Israeli war crimes files handed to ICC by Palestine

Israeli war crimes files handed to ICC by Palestine
Updated 25 June 2015

Israeli war crimes files handed to ICC by Palestine

Israeli war crimes files handed to ICC by Palestine

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki handed International Criminal Court prosecutors a file Thursday detailing possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The file, based on findings by a Palestinian commission of inquiry and information from non-government groups, feeds into a preliminary investigation by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda into possible crimes on Palestinian territory.
Bensouda’s initial probe aims to establish if there is enough evidence to merit opening a full-scale investigation that could ultimately lead to charges against both Israelis and Palestinians. It is not clear how long the process will take.
Malki said the information forms “a compelling case for the prompt opening of an investigation.”
He said it included details on Israel’s settlements and military offensive throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly last year’s Gaza War, and also outlined allegations of crimes committed against Palestinian prisoners.
The filing, “confirms that the absence of accountability has led to the recurrence of violations and crimes and will continue to do so if gone unchecked,” the Palestinians said in a statement before the filing.
The move comes just days after a separate investigation by the UN Human Rights Council accused both sides of committing possible war crimes in last summer’s Gaza War. The council’s report is also being studied by investigators at the ICC.
The Palestinian Authority joined the international court this year.
Israel is not a member and rejects the court’s authority.