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Palestinian FM Malki evading ICC questions

Foreign Minister Riad Maliki could not be reached for comment regarding the publication of a letter revealing that the Palestinian Authority has so far prevented the launch of a war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to Al-Jazeera journalist Clayton Swisher.

In a confidential letter published on Memo on Thursday, ICC's top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she "did not receive a positive confirmation" from Malki that a request for an investigation had the Palestinian government's approval- a prerequisite for the ICC to take up the case.

On July 25, PA Justice Minister Saleem al-Saqqa and Palestinian General Prosecutor Ismaeil Jabr submitted a letter to the ICC via a French law firm calling for an investigation into alleged war crimes during the recent military offensive.

However, according to ICC regulations, "only the Head of State, Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs" can grant the international body jurisdiction to investigate.

According to her letter, Bensouda asked Maliki during their meeting in August for confirmation that the request had the Palestinian government's approval, which she did not receive.

Swisher attempted to contact Maliki via his office for a comment on the findings but was repeatedly told: "He's in a meeting-call back." He also tried to contact him by text messages but was unsuccessful.

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