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The International Criminal Court has announced the opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the occupied territories. A decision hailed by the Palestinian authorities, to the chagrin of the Jewish state.

The Attorney General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda on March 3 declared the opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. The international tribunal will examine the situation since the summer of 2014, the date of a major bombing campaign in the Palestinian enclave.

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed: “The crimes committed by the leaders of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people, which are continuous, systematic and widespread crimes make the investigation necessary and urgent. . “

For his part, the Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi described as “moral and legal bankruptcy” the decision of the ICC, which he accused of having “lost all legitimacy”.

“Pure anti-Semitism”, according to Netanyahu

Israel, which is not a member of the ICC unlike Palestine, had strongly opposed the opening of an investigation. In a speech in early February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even denounced “pure anti-Semitism” after the Hague-based court declared itself competent to investigate possible war crimes committed in the occupied territories.

At the end of 2019, the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, called for the opening of an investigation into possible “war crimes” committed by Israel in particular in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Judging that “war crimes have been committed or are in the process of being committed”, she said she was “convinced that there is a reasonable basis justifying the opening of an investigation”. A preliminary examination was also opened in 2015, after the bombing of Gaza for 50 days in 2014 as part of Operation Protective Edge. The conflict had left 2,251 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 74 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.



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