Outgoing prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICJ), Pato Bensouda, has announced the opening an investigation into war crimes which were allegedly committed in the Palestinian after June 13, 2014. This was the date on which began an Israeli military operation in response yto the kidnapping of three young Israeli boys. Another prosecutor who will take her place will make the final decision as to whether or not to continue the investigation.
The prosecuting attorney at the International Criminal Court, Pato Bensuda, announced at noon (Wednesday) the opening of an investigation into war crimes committed in Gaza and Judea and Samaria from June 13, 2014, shortly before the start of Operation Eitan.
“Under the Rome Statute, when a state appeals to the court because there is a basis for opening an investigation, we are obliged to act,” Bensuda wrote. “The investigation will be conducted by the tribunal independently and objectively. The convention requires us to disclose all the facts and evidence to reach those responsible.”
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Bensouda will end her term in the coming months – and the decision does not oblige the replacement of the British Karim Khan, who was Israel’s preferred candidate. In recent weeks in the political arena, Israel has acted to put pressure on the plaintiff not to open an investigation, and there was hope that Basuda would leave the decision to a replacement who would take office in June. The assessment in Jerusalem is that Bensouda would not have announced this without coordination with him.
“Investigations of this kind take time – and must be based on the law and facts,” Bensouda wrote. “We have no interest other than to meet our obligations under the Treaty of Rome and to maintain professional integrity.” However, she noted that the investigation might take time due to the corona crisis and the tribunal’s lack of resources.
The Palestinians welcomed the decision and said the investigation would lead to justice. The Yesha Council, on the other hand, called it “anti-Semitic.” The Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley are legal, and every settlement in its territory complies with all regulations. The anti-Semitism leading up to the International Court of Justice in The Hague is another part of a long chain of stories that are far from reality. We recommend that the judges at the Ivory Tower come down here, see the settlers’ and the Palestinians’ lives, and understand how much the settlement has benefited the routine life of the Arab population. “