‘Israel’ to tell ICC: You don’t have authority to investigate us

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The occupation state of ‘Israel’ is expected to tell the High Court of Justice that the court does not have the authority to probe Israeli war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Terrorists.

In its formal response to The Hague-based court’s decision to open the war crimes probe, Israel will also say it won’t cooperate with the investigation, Israeli media reports said on Thursday.

The decision on how to respond came after two days of talks held by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and other top officials, The Times of Israel reported.

Last month, ‘Israel’ received a letter from the International Criminal Court formally detailing the scope of its war crimes investigation against ‘Israel’, as Channel 13 reported.

The report said the brief one-and-a-half page letter briefly laid out the three main areas it intends to cover: the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, Israeli settlement policy, and the 2018 Great March of Return protests that left hundreds of Palestinians dead.

Neither ‘Israel’ nor the ICC published the letter or acknowledged it had been sent.

The report said that ‘Israel’ has 30 days to respond, adding that ‘Israel’ is leaning toward doing so after largely refusing to cooperate with The Hague-based international court until now.

So, the deadline to respond is Friday night.

According to Israeli Ynet news site, officials deliberated whether to tell the court that Israel would investigate the claims against it, but decided that doing so would be a recognition of the ICC’s authority.

Israel may also ask for more time to file a response, citing the political situation and efforts to form a government after inconclusive elections on March 23, the report said, quoting sources as saying ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda would likely approve the request.

The report also said such a request would not recognize the court’s authority.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda said recently that she launched a formal probe into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office,” she added.

‘Israel’ is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, a position backed by its close ally the United States.

Palestinians have welcomed the ruling as a chance for justice for victims of Israeli attacks.

Palestine has asked the court to look into Israeli war crimes during its 2014 war against the Gaza Strip, when the Israelis killed 2147 Palestinians including women and children, and wounded 10870 others, as well as Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

(Source / 08.04.2021)

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