ICC Launches War Crimes Probe into ‘Israeli’ Practices
By Staff, Agencies
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Wednesday launched an investigation into ‘Israeli’ war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, turning the tribunal's focus toward the Zionist military actions and settlement construction on lands occupied in 1967.
The decision dealt an embarrassing blow to the Zionist occupation government, which had conducted an aggressive public relations and behind-the-scenes diplomatic campaign to block the investigation. It also raised the possibility of arrest warrants being issued against the occupation regime’s officials suspected of war crimes, making it potentially risky to travel abroad.
"‘Israel’ is under attack this evening," Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in a videotaped statement.
The decision by Fatou Bensouda, the court's outgoing prosecutor, had been expected since the court determined last month that she had jurisdiction over the case. A preliminary probe by Bensouda in 2019 had found a reasonable basis to open a war crimes case.
In a statement, Bensouda said the investigation will look into "crimes within the jurisdiction of the court that have been committed" since June 13, 2014. She said the investigation will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor." That task will now be handed to Karim Khan, the British lawyer who is set to become the court's chief prosecutor in June.
Wednesday's decision turns the court's focus toward two key ‘Israeli’ policies of recent years: its repeated military operations against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, highlighted by a devastating 2014 war, and its expansion of ‘Israeli’ settlements in east al-Quds and the occupied West Bank.