Over 180 Human Rights Organizations Call on ICC to Investigate ‘Israeli’ War Crimes
By Staff, Agencies
More than 180 Palestinian, regional and international human rights campaigners and organizations have called upon the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court [ICC], Fatou Bensouda, to investigate the crimes being perpetrated by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces in the occupied territories.
The rights groups, in a joint open letter initiated by Palestinian coalitions representing over 200 civil society organizations, said they overwhelmingly support the Prosecutor’s findings submitted to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber earlier this year.
“We urge that in light of the pervasive climate of impunity, which has prevailed for over five decades in the occupied Palestinian territory, perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Palestine ... be held accountable at the International Criminal Court,” they said in the letter.
Back on December 19, 2019, Bensouda said in a statement that the court would launch a full investigation into war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as there is a “reasonable basis" to probe into the situation in Palestine.
"In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East ‘Jerusalem’ [al-Quds], and the Gaza Strip," she noted at the time, without specifying the perpetrators of the crimes.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates later welcomed the ICC plan in a statement, saying, "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."
The ruling was immediately rejected by the US and Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described it as a “baseless and scandalous decision.”
The Zionist entity and the US have both refused to sign up to the court, which was set up in 2002 to be the only global tribunal trying the world's worst crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“We are cognizant of the fact that there is even broader and more widespread support from within Palestine, regionally, and internationally for an investigation by the International Criminal Court into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including crimes committed against civilian health workers, journalists, and children,” further read the letter by the rights bodies to the ICC prosecutor chief.