Palestinians welcome ICC announcement on opening investigation into Israeli crimes

Ramallah/PNN/

Palestinians welcomed today the announcement by the Prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) on opening an investigation into Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

“We welcome the announcement by the ICC Prosecutor that she has concluded the preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine and her conclusion that all requirements for opening an investigation have been met.,” said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

“We consider her request to the Pre-trial Chamber to rule on the jurisdiction of the ICC in the State of Palestine is a positive step forward. We view this as an announcement on the impending and long overdue opening of an investigation into the situation in Palestine by the Office of the Prosecutor,” she added.

The ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced today that its office is going to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine in relation to Israeli crimes against the occupied Palestinian people.

“Since Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute, the Palestinian people have invested their faith in the International Criminal Court as an independent venue that can guarantee them some justice and redress for the multitudes of war crimes committed against them by their occupier, Israel,” added Ashrawi.

“In our view, there is no doubt that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in Palestine, by virtue of Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute and our communication with the Court five years ago granting it such jurisdiction. We expect this process to conclude positively and expeditiously and for the Prosecutor to proceed to the investigation without any further delay. Israel’s panicked attempts to twist facts and its feverish efforts to perpetuate impunity and remain unaccountable will fail.”

The PLO official concluded, “Today is an important reminder that Palestine’s determined and principled steps within the international system are significant means of protection for the Palestinian people and the standing of international law as universally applicable. Five years ago, Palestine put the world on notice that the era of Israeli exceptionalism and impunity is over. Israel must pay for its crimes and the Palestinian people will not accept exclusion from the universality of human rights. We are empowered and determined to achieve justice, redress, and accountability through international mechanisms, including the ICC.”

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