The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has launched a formal probe into alleged crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
This move was strongly opposed by Israel.
Chief prosecutor ICC Fatou Bensouda in a statement on Wednesday said that the probe will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor”.
“Today, I confirm the initiation by the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of an investigation respecting the situation in Palestine,” Bensouda added.
“2019 there was a reasonable basis to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank,”
Following that assessment, she asked judges to rule on the extent of the court’s jurisdiction in the troubled region.
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Earlier in February, the ICC ruled that it had jurisdiction over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories that Israel captured during the 1967 Middle East war.
The ICC Judges said their decision was based on jurisdictional rules in The Hague-based court’s founding documents, and it does not imply any attempt to determine statehood or legal borders.
However, Israel, which is not a member of the court, has rejected ICC’s jurisdiction.