ICC opens probe for war crimes in Palestinian Territories

Netanyahu called it a 'black day for truth and justice'

20 December, 19:06

    BRUSSELS - The lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Fatou Bensouda, announced Friday that she has opened an investigation into war crimes in the Palestinian Territories.
    "I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to article 53(1) of the Statute," Bensouda said in a statement. "In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip," she said.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision is "a black day for truth and justice" and called it "baseless and scandalous".
    He said the move "ignores history and truth when it says that the very act that the Jews live in their ancestral homeland, the land of the Bible, is a war crime".
    He said that Palestine has never been a state, and added, "We will not remain silent".
    "The court has no jurisdiction in this case. The ICC only has jurisdiction over petitions submitted by sovereign states. But there has never been a Palestinian state," Netanyahu said.
    He said the prosecutor's decision has "changed the Court into a political tool to delegitimise the State of Israel".
    "The prosecutor completely ignored the legal arguments that we presented to her," Netanyahu said.

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