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Palestine urges ICC (International Criminal Court) to investigate Israel’s war crimes

Palestinian Mission to Netherlands hands letter to ICC prosecutor’s office, including documents on new, ongoing crimes.

The Palestinian foreign minister sent a letter on Tuesday to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Prosecutor’s Office, calling for an investigation into Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

According to a Twitter post by the Palestinian Mission to the Netherlands, Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman delivered the letter by hand from Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, calling for “accountability for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Palestine, including in Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza.”

“The State of Palestine continues to consistently provide the Court with information and documentation on the new and ongoing crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court in the context of the ongoing investigation in the situation,” it added in the statement.

In March 2021, ICC has opened a formal investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories after five years of preliminary inquiries. This was before fresh tensions erupted centered on the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last week said that the investigation would “cover all sides and all the facts and evidence relevant to an assessment of whether there is individual criminal responsibility under the [ICC] Statute.”

Bensouda added that the office would continue to consider developments on the ground.

At least 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children and 36 women, and 1,500 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Also, 12 Israelis have reportedly been killed in Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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