Palestinians Ask Hague Court to Open Full Inquiry Into Israel
23 May, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Laura Christensen
It was an "important and historic step" for the Palestinian people "who have suffered for generations the consequences of crimes committed with impunity by Israeli officials", he told reporters afterwards.
The Palestinians returned to the ICC in the aftermath of accelerated settlement activity in which Israel advanced plans for over 10,000 new homes in 2017.
In response to Tuesday's move at the ICC, Israel said it took a "severe view" of the Palestinian request, calling it a "cynical" and "absurd" step.
"Israel maintains, expands and protects the settlement regime by committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people", the statement added.
He confirmed that he has submitted the referral to the court and said that he had a meeting with the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.
Last week another global body, the United Nations Human Rights Council, considered a resolution to "urgently dispatch an independent, worldwide commission of inquiry" to investigate "all alleged violations and abuses" of civilians since the latest Gaza protests began on March 30.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has signaled that she will not be rushed into making a decision on whether to launch an investigation into alleged crimes by Israel in the Palestinian territories.
Still, Malki insisted that going to the ICC could become a building block for peace.
Sixty Palestinian protesters were killed and over 2,000 injured by Israeli forces.
Both Palestinian and worldwide rights groups have long called for the ICC to open a formal investigation. In theory, that means Israelis could be tried by the ICC for alleged crimes committed on occupied territory.
The IDF also confirmed that a mini-drone from Gaza had crossed over the border fence and fallen in Israeli territory overnight Tuesday. Israel has accused Gaza's rulers, Hamas, of exploiting protesting civilians and using them as human shields to carry out attacks.
It also said the ICC had no jurisdiction in the case because Israel is not a member of the court.
While the ICC can indict suspects, it has no police force and has to rely on co-operation from member states to enforce arrest warrants.
In 2004, the U.N.'s highest judicial organ, the International Court of Justice, ruled in an advisory opinion that the settlements breached international law. It says east Jerusalem is an inseparable part of its capital, and considers the West Bank to be disputed territory whose fate should be decided in negotiations.
Malki said the complaint seeks an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem since the state of Palestine joined the ICC in June 2014.
Under global law it is illegal to transfer populations out of or into occupied territory.
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