The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor announced she would begin a comprehensive full-scale inquiry into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories as soon as the court’s jurisdiction had been settled.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said a preparatory investigation into alleged war crimes, started in 2015, had presented sufficient information to meet all standards for opening an investigation.
“I am satisfied that … war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” Bensouda said in a statement.
The Palestinians embraced the ruling but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ICC had no jurisdiction to investigate the Palestinian Territories.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the ICC decision was “a dark day in the history of Israel”.
“Palestine welcomes this step as a long-overdue step to move the process forward towards an investigation, after nearly five long and difficult years of preliminary examination,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.
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