Israel has received a letter from the International Criminal Court (ICC) giving details of the scope of its war crimes investigation against the occupation state and Hamas, Channel 13 reported on Wednesday. The letter apparently arrived last weekend.
According to the news channel, the National Security Council has already met to begin formulating Israel’s response. The government has 30 days in which to do this.
The #Palestine Chronicle interviewed me in relation to the #ICC #Prosecutor's response to the observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of #Victims, and States. A few reflections here:https://t.co/vC8Qad2y1J
— Triestino Mariniello (@TriestinoM) May 2, 2020
The one-and-a-half-page letter laid out briefly the three main areas that the probe intends to cover: the 2014 military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza; Israel’s settlement policy; and the 2018 Great March of Return protests.
The peaceful protests along the nominal border between the Gaza Strip and Israel were met with a deadly response by the Israeli army. At least 214 Palestinians were killed, including 46 children, and 36,100 were wounded, of whom 8,800 were children. Clearly identifiable medics and journalists were among the casualties.
Blinken Criticized for Opposition to ICC Investigation into Israeli War Crimes – Palestine Chronicle https://t.co/Z2Lbg7PNd4
— Douglas Thomsen (@iambatmandoug) March 9, 2021
As soon as ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that the court has jurisdiction to investigate war crimes in the Palestinian territories, Israel expressed its strong opposition.
Earlier this month, a number of Israeli officials told Channel 13 that they are concerned that the ICC may actually begin to issue arrest warrants against military officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was also Defense Minister at the time, Moshe Ya’alon, and the current Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, who is the ex-Chief of Staff.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 12, 2021
It is believed that Israel will argue that the court has no jurisdiction to conduct the investigation in a bid to delay the case until Bensouda steps down in June and has been replaced by British lawmaker Karim Khan. The Israelis hope that he may be “less hostile” or even cancel the probe altogether.
Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority joined it in 2015.
Featured image: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: ICC Website)