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The Palestinian Chronicle - December 20, 2019

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said she will launch a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The announcement by Fatou Bensouda on Friday was welcomed by the Palestinian leadership as a “long overdue step” but prompted an angry response by Israel.

Bensouda said before opening a full probe, she would ask The Hague-based tribunal to rule on the territory over which it has jurisdiction, as Israel is not a member of the court.

She urged judges to rule on the court’s jurisdiction “without undue delay”. The prosecutor added however that she did not require any authorization from judges to open a probe as there had been a referral from the Palestinians, who joined the court in 2015.

Bensouda has been under growing criticism for failing to move forward with legal procedures regarding Israel’s misconduct in the Occupied Territories.

As South African writer Iqbal Jassat wrote in The Palestine Chronicle on December 17:

“Unsurprisingly the most likely reason for it would be fear of retaliation from Israel and the United States.”

The Palestinian government welcomed Bensouda’s announcement.

“Palestine welcomes this step as a long-overdue step to move the process forward towards an investigation, after nearly five long and difficult years of preliminary examination,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.

Following Bensouda’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at what he called “a dark day for truth and justice”. ...
Read full report at The Palestinian Chronicle