Israel Refuses to Cooperate with ICC on War Crimes Probe

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: ICC Website)

Israel will tell the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it does not recognize the authority of the tribunal, which is set to investigate alleged war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian Territories, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday.

“Netanyahu, after meeting with senior ministers and government officials ahead of a Friday deadline to respond to an ICC notification letter, said Israel would not cooperate with the inquiry, but it will send a response,” Reuters reported.

The response, according to Reuters, will also say that “Israel ‘completely rejects’ the assertion that it was carrying out any war crimes.”

“It will be made clear that Israel is a country with rule of law that knows how to investigate itself,” Netanyahu stated.

On March 9, Israel received a letter from the ICC giving details of the scope of its war crimes investigation. The one-and-a-half-page letter laid out briefly the three main areas that the probe intends to cover: the 2014 military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza; Israel’s settlement policy; and the 2018 Great March of Return protests.

Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC and therefore not a party to the court.

The Palestinian Authority, which joined it in 2015, said that it would cooperate with the ICC in providing all data needed to speed up investigations to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice.

(Palestine Chronicle, Reuters, Social Media)

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