German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that he strongly opposes an investigation into Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. He claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the occupation state.
“The German government’s position is that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction in this matter due to the absence of Palestinian statehood,” Steinmeier told Haaretz on the eve of his visit to Israel due to start on Wednesday evening. “Germany nevertheless respects the independence of the International Criminal Court and its prosecuting authority.”
He added that it is up to the new chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, to decide how the investigations should proceed in line with the legal framework that governs his mandate.
“Israel has repeatedly experienced discrimination and pressure in its dealings with the United Nations and associated organizations, giving it a much more skeptical perspective. It has much greater confidence in itself than in international organizations.”
On March 3, former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that her office will open a formal investigation into war crimes in Palestine.
On December 20, 2019, Bensouda made a request to the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I for a ruling to clarify the territorial scope of the Court’s jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, and on February 5, 2021, the Chamber decided that the Court may exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine and that the territorial scope of this jurisdiction extends to Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)