Palestine asks ICC to investigate alleged Israeli human rights crimes

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Tuesday submitted a request asking the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged human rights violations linked to Israeli settlement policies

The application goes further than a 2015 request for prosecutors to examine alleged crimes in the region and could fast-track the process to a full investigation.

The Palestinian Authority became a member of the ICC in January 2015 after the failure of negotiations to get a UN timetable for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories in the West Bank.

A few days later, at the request of Ramallah, the Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination (first step before the possible opening of a formal investigation) on crimes committed since June 2014 in Gaza and the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

This preliminary examination has been under way for more than three years.

The Arab League has also called on the ICC to go after the perpetrators of crimes committed in Gaza.

Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned what he called Israeli “massacres”, saying they appeared to be war crimes and urging the Court to intervene.

At the same time, during a UN Security Council meeting in New York, Palestinian delegate Riyad Mansour called for an immediate end to the “odious massacre committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip” and called for an independent UN inquiry.

This echoes a call by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in March, but the idea is opposed by Israel’s traditional ally the U. S..

Some dozen countries support the launch of an independent probe.

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