Sunday, December 22, 2019

ICC's investigation spurred by Netanyahu's annexation promise - Sara Rubenstein

by Sara Rubenstein

ICC prosecutor cites Netanyahu's pre-election promise to annex 'large parts of the West Bank' as one of the factors for investigation.

Netanyahu                                                                                                                                                             Flash 90

Senior Israeli political commentator Barak Ravid wrote on Twitter on Saturday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's pre-election annexation promise was one of the factors for the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation against Israel.

"Netanyahu's annexation announcements before the September elections were mentioned in the ICC prosecutor's decision as one of the causes for an investigation against Israel" Ravid wrote.

"Here is what the prosecutor wrote in article 177: 'Despite the clear and enduring calls that Israel cease activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory deemed contrary to international law, there is no indication that they will end. To the contrary, there are indications that they may not only continue but that Israel may seek to annex these territories. Numerous reports reflect concerns of a potential de jure annexation. In August and September 2019, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex large parts of the West Bank if re-elected.'"

The International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor announced on Friday she wants to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli "war crimes" in Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled territories.

"I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine," ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement quoted by AFP.

"In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip," she added, without specifying the perpetrators of the alleged crimes.

Bensouda added that before opening a full probe, she would ask the ICC to rule on the territory over which it has jurisdiction because of the "unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation."

"Specifically, I have sought confirmation that the 'territory' over which the Court may exercise its jurisdiction, and which I may subject to investigation, comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza," she said.

Sara Rubenstein


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