Israel cooperating with ICC over alleged war crimes

A source inside the government of Israel has acknowledged conversation has occurred with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes committed at Gaza in 2014.

The Israeli official declined to comment further.

Similarly, a prosecutor with the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, confirmed contact with Israel, stating “an exchange of information” was proceeding with her office.

The ICC is conducting a preliminary investigation into the 50-day war fought between Israel and Hamas militants in 2014, which claimed the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israeli soldiers.

In July 2014, Israel launched a military operation into Gaza following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.  Israel alleged Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder.

Israel responded to the murders with an 11-day search of the area around Hebron and the arrest of close to 350 Palestinians.

In response to the search and arrest of Palestinians in the West Bank, Hamas repeatedly fired rockets into Israel from positions inside Gaza.

Since the Palestinian Authority (PA) officially joined the ICC in April 2015, a move Israel declared to be “political, cynical and hypocritical,” Israel has refused to cooperate with the ICC over its initial inquiry.

Israel has repeatedly denied its forces committed war crimes in Gaza and has kept the small enclave under a tightly controlled blockade since 2007.

Israel’s objections rest on the premise the PA is not a state, but an entity in collaboration with a terrorists organization, Hamas, which commits war crimes.

Human rights organizations have called on both parties to cooperate with the ICC, but the court has so far only received assistance from the PA.

 

[Reuters] [BBC] [icc-cpi.int] [Photo courtesy middleeasteye.net]