The prosecutor of the international criminal court has announced that her office will open a formal investigation into war crimes in Palestine that will examine both sides in the conflict.

The court ruled on 5 February that it had jurisdiction in the case, a move that prompted swift rejection from the US and Israel. The Palestinian Authority welcomed the decision.

“The decision to open an investigation followed a painstaking preliminary examination undertaken by my office that lasted close to five years,” the outgoing prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement.

Bensouda said in December 2019 that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”. She named both the Israel Defence Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.

The next step will be to determine whether Israel or Palestinian authorities have investigations themselves and to assess those.

More details soon



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