This decision could generate a lot of ink in the coming months. The International Criminal Court declared itself competent on Friday for the events in the occupied Palestinian territories. Which could pave the way for a war crimes investigation.
The ICC, located in The Hague (Netherlands), explained in a statement that it “decided by a majority that the territorial jurisdiction of the Court for the situation in Palestine ( Editor’s note: who has been a member since 2015 ) extended to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 ”.
Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of this international tribunal created in 2002 to try the most terrible crimes committed on the planet, had asked her for a legal opinion on this point. And this after announcing in December 2019 to want to open a full investigation into possible “war crimes” – without naming their perpetrators – in the territories occupied by Israel.
The Court added that with its decision, it “did not rule on a border dispute under international law or prejudge the question of any future borders” but had the “sole objective of defining its territorial jurisdiction”.
Netanyahu stands up against the decision
Following this decision, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday called the International Criminal Court a “political body”. “Today the tribunal has once again proved that it is a political body and not a judicial institution”, commented the head of the Israeli government, considering that, by its decision, the ICC was undermining the “right of democracies to be defend against terrorism ”.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh hailed him a “victory for justice”. “This decision is a victory for justice and humanity, for the values of truth, equity and freedom, and for the blood of the victims and their families,” he told the agency Palestinian official Wafa.
Fatou Bensouda, who is due to step down next June, wants the International Criminal Court to follow up a five-year preliminary investigation following the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip. Israel and the United States strongly condemned this tribunal when the prosecutor made this request for a thorough investigation. Donald Trump’s government even took sanctions against Fatou Bensouda in September who, for his part, asked Joe Biden to lift them.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr