Published: Tue, May 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Palestinians urge snap ICC probe into 'Israeli war crimes'

Palestinians urge snap ICC probe into 'Israeli war crimes'

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday condemned the Palestinians bid to initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the deaths of Gazans during the recent spate of border unrest, calling it a "cynical move" with no legal validity.

The step drew Israeli condemnation and worsened already poor relations between the sides.

The referral sought an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since the state of Palestine accepted the ICC's jurisdiction in 2014, he said.

Palestinians infiltrated Israel and set fire to an IDF position.

Here is a closer look at the Palestinian move and its implications.

Since March 30, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli gunfire during anti-occupation rallies along border of the Gaza Strip.

At a summit of Muslim countries convened by Turkey in Istanbul on May 18, Rohani called the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which recently withdrew from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions on Iran, a "dangerous threat" to global peace and security.

The boat was named to commemorate the 70 anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe, in which more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forcibly expelled from their homes during the establishment of the Israeli state. This upgraded status has allowed the Palestinians to join dozens of worldwide institutions, including the ICC.

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It also said the ICC had no jurisdiction in the case because Israel is not a member of the court.

Saying that while "Israel maintains, expands, and protects the settlement regime by committing war crimes, crimes against humanity", Palestinians are not seeking revenge but redress and "justice for the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people". Tuesday's referral could speed up a decision on whether to open a full-blown investigation, which could ultimately lead to the indictment of high-ranking Israelis.

Riyad al-Maliki met for an hour with the ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the tribunal in The Hague, "to refer the situation in Palestine to her office".

The Palestinians have long objected to the settlements - accusing Israel of gobbling up their land to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. It is illegal to transfer populations out of or into occupied territory. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.

This year's freedom flotilla comes just weeks after Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrators in Gaza protesting for the right of return, killing more than 60. But that position is not internationally recognized.

Some of the protesters have burned tires, thrown firebombs or tried to break through the fence.

Israel says it has investigated actions by its forces during the Gaza conflict, and says it has opened a number of investigations into the latest Gaza violence as well.

The ICC is a court of last resort. A delegation of prosecutors and magistrates traveled in October 2016 to Jewish state on an informative mission to avoid suspicion and to raise awareness of task of global criminal justice. Israel, if it wanted any charges filed against Palestinians, would have to become a member of the court.

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