Date: 5 March 2021
ICSPR: The decision of the public prosecutor, “Fatou Bensouda”, regarding opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes, is a new step towards activating international accountability and justice.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) welcomes the issuance of ICC public prosecutor “Fatou Bensouda” of an official statement, announcing the opening of an investigation into alleged crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, after she concluded from numerous facts that there is a reasonable basis for the Palestinian territories to have witnessed war crimes during the Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2014, colonial settlement crimes, violations of the right of prisoners and peaceful demonstrators in the return marches and other serious violations, where the investigation will cover crimes under the court’s jurisdiction, which is believed to have been committed in Palestine since 13 June 2014, in a step that marks the beginning of a process that victims have been waiting for a long time, and in line with the requirements of international justice.
ICSPR welcomes the decision that came as a result of the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court, which ruled the jurisdiction of the court, in addition to the fact that this decision was delayed due to the American-Israeli pressure aimed at discouraging the court from opening a serious investigation, and yet ICSPR looks positively to the decision, as it is a victory for the Palestinian victims, and expressing its thanks and appreciation for all the efforts made by the official and civil Palestinian authorities in order to support the path of accountability of the leaders of the Israeli occupation, and narrow the scope of international impunity. Therefore, it demands the following:
- ICSPR affirms that the decision is consistent with the role of the International Criminal Court and the principles of international law, and at the same time, it calls to move forward and respect the principles of the Rome Statute, and exert efforts to conduct an independent, impartial and objective investigation, in order to reduce impunity and achieve judicial deterrence.
- ICSPR calls on the countries of the whole world to respect the decision of the International Criminal Court, by refraining from interfering in its work, influencing or obstructing it, to confirm that no one is above the law.
- ICSPR urges states ratifying the Rome Statute, and the United Nations institutions concerned with human rights, to work to support the prosecutor’s decision, including overcoming the obstacles that may disrupt the work of the International Court.
- ICSPR calls on the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to invest its membership in the Executive Office of the Assembly of the Member States of the Permanent International Criminal Court, in order to urge all the actors of the court to work with maximum force to overcome the obstacles that may disrupt the International Court’s work.