Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel would not cooperate with ICC inquiry into alleged conflict crimes within the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel will tell the International Criminal Court (ICC) it does not recognise the authority of the tribunal, which is planning to examine attainable conflict crimes within the occupied Palestinian territories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned.
Netanyahu, after assembly with senior ministers and authorities officers earlier than a Friday deadline to reply to an ICC notification letter, mentioned Israel would not cooperate with the inquiry, however it will ship a response.
“It will be made clear that Israel is a country with rule of law that knows how to investigate itself,” he mentioned in an announcement on Thursday. The response will even say Israel “completely rejects” the assertion that it carried out any conflict crimes.
The assertion added that the ICC “has no powers to initiate an investigation against Israel” and can not cooperate with it.
Israel is not a celebration to the Rome Statute that established the ICC and, due to this fact, by definition not a celebration to the courtroom.
ICC prosecutors, who named teams on each the Israeli and Palestinian sides as attainable perpetrators, mentioned letters had been despatched on March 9 to all events involved, giving them a month to inform the courtroom in the event that they had been conducting their very own investigations of the alleged crimes and wish an ICC inquiry deferred whereas that’s persevering with.
‘Crimes committed by both sides’
The Palestinian Authority, based mostly within the occupied West Bank, has been a state celebration to the ICC since 2015. The Palestinians have welcomed the investigation and mentioned they are going to not search any deferral.
The world’s solely everlasting conflict crimes tribunal, the ICC was arrange in 2002 to attempt humanity’s worst crimes the place native courts had been unwilling or unable to step in.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has mentioned her probe will cowl the scenario since 2014 within the besieged Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
It will primarily deal with the 2014 Gaza conflict but in addition take a look at the deaths of Palestinian demonstrators from 2018 onwards.
After a five-year preliminary probe, Bensouda mentioned there was a “reasonable basis” to consider crimes had been dedicated by either side – by the Israeli army, Hamas – which has managed Gaza since 2007 – and different Palestinian armed teams.
Hamas has welcomed the ICC probe and argued that its assaults on Israel had been justified acts of “resistance”.
The PA additionally voiced its willingness to cooperate with the ICC.
“We sent the response to the ICC,” mentioned Omar Awadallah, a senior official within the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
“Full cooperation with the ICC will continue from the State of Palestine, as a member state of the court, to achieve justice for the victims of the Palestinian people and hold Israel accountable for its crimes,” Awadallah mentioned.
Netanyahu, a vocal critic of the ICC, on Thursday, accused the courtroom of “hypocrisy” for focusing on Israeli troops who “fight with high moral conduct against terrorists”.
Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has beforehand lambasted the choice to open the probe because the “essence of anti-Semitism” and declared Israel was “under attack”.
Thursday’s assertion marked the primary time that Netanyahu made it clear Israel would not instantly interact with the ICC. The United States has additionally criticised the ICC investigation and voiced help for its ally Israel.
The ICC final week welcomed US President Joe Biden’s lifting of sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on Bensouda, saying it signalled a brand new period of cooperation with Washington.
The Trump administration had imposed the monetary sanctions and visa ban on Bensouda final 12 months, after she launched an investigation into alleged conflict crimes by US army personnel in Afghanistan.