International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at The Hague on Friday that she was examining if the new rounds of violence and incitement between Israel and the Palestinians could be war crimes within the ICC's jurisdiction.
Bensouda referred to her meeting as having "received H.E. Mr Mahmoud Abbas, the President of Palestine," her office having recognized Palestine as a state in January, over continued vehement objection by Israel.
Referring to the recent escalation of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Bensouda "stressed the need for calm and restraint from all sides, and an end to the violence. She underscored that innocent people have been injured and killed on both sides, and cautioned that the situation may further degenerate into a large-scale commission of crimes that may fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC."
The ICC Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination of war crimes complaints relating to the 2014 Gaza war and the settlements in January 2015.A press release stated that Bensouda "will also examine whether any of the newly reported incidents of violence constitute crimes...and for the same purpose, will continue to record any new instances of violence or incitement to violence that may occur in the future.
"Further, she "warned that anyone – on either side – who commits, orders, incites, encourages or contributes in any other way to the commission of crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC is liable to prosecution either at the national level or at the Court.
"Bensouda's jurisdiction going forward is ongoing and she can add new events to her examination, but regarding the past, she has said she is limited to investigating only events from after November 29, 2012 when the UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a state.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment