ICC Prosecutor Examines Israel-Palestine Conflict Preliminary
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination on the situation in Palestine on Friday.
The decision of the Prosecutor follows the accession of Palestine to the Rome Statute on January 2 and its January 1 declaration, which accepts ICC jurisdiction over alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has requested the ICC to investigate Israeli crimes committed since 13 June 2014, the BBC reports.
Palestine has accused Israel of committing war crimes when it carried out air strikes and invaded Gaza, killing more than 2 100 people.
The United Nations (UN) has declared that most of the victims in the conflict, which started in July and ended with a ceasefire in August 2014, were civilians.
Israel has also accused Palestine of committing war crimes, including the firing of missiles into civilian areas during last summer's conflict, in which it lost 67 soldiers and six civilians.
Palestine will formally join the ICC on April 1 – 90 days after the the documents requesting membership have been submitted.
It should be noted that a preliminary examination does not constitute an investigation, but a process of examining information in order to determine whether it should be proceeded with investigation.
Both Israel and the US have strongly criticised the decision of Palestine to join a number of international bodies, including the ICC.
Israel responded to Palestine's decision by suspending the transfer of tax revenues earlier in January, the BBC reminds.
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