Netanyahu accuses ICC of anti-Semitism in pursuit of war crimes probe

Price tag attack in Far'ata

"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".

The Palestinians welcomed the move by the ICC as a "long overdue step" following a almost five-year preliminary probe by the prosecutor into the situation since the 2014 war in Gaza.

COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said the permits would be issued "in accordance with security assessments and without regard to age".

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Friday her team plans to launch an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, drawing a sharp rebuke from Israel.

"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".

Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also accused the ICC of having no jurisdiction in the case: "The ICC only has jurisdiction over petitions submitted by sovereign states".

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority seemed to have missed the memo over the last part with the release of statements praising the move.

"Palestine welcomes this step as a long overdue step to move the process forward towards an investigation, after almost five long and hard years of preliminary examination", the Palestinian Authority, a limited self-rule body in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said in a statement.

The ICC does not investigate states, but officials who are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel has explained past travel bans as being due to Palestinians staying on illegally after receiving short-term permits to leave Gaza.

"It is essential to bring Israel to account for the crimes committed in Palestine and the human rights violations it is responsible for and to provide global protection to Palestinians for ending the decades-long injustice in Palestine", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

The investigation also identified evidence to support claims of war crimes against Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas.

ICC on January 16, 2015 had opened a preliminary examination over alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Palestine.

The question of jurisdiction is likely to be fiercely contested.

The Palestinians insisted they are a fully fledged member of the court and that the court has jurisdiction.

A full ICC investigation could lead to possible charges being brought against individuals. The ICC charge is preposterous, nonsensical and negates Israel's ability to defend itself and degrade Hamas's terrorist infrastructure.

The ICC has also examined violence along the Israel-Gaza border in 2018.

"By approaching the ICC, the Palestinians are seeking to breach the framework agreed to by the parties and to push the Court to determine political issues that should be resolved by negotiations, and not by criminal proceedings", the legal opinion said.

Nine Turkish citizens died in May 2010 when Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara, which was among eight ships trying to break a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

"The Israeli army is one of the most moral militaries in the world", Gantz added.



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