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Abbas meets ICC prosecutor amid increasing Israeli violence against Palestinians

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met on Friday ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at The Hague amid continued Israeli violence against Palestinians, Arab48.com reported Palestinian officials as saying.

PA representatives in Holland said that the meeting was the first since the PA had joined the ICC in January this year.

In a statement, the PA said that Abbas’s visit to Bensouda comes in context of “dangerous Israeli escalation” and as part of primary checks regarding the Palestinian situation that are being carried out by the ICC.

In January this year, the PA asked the ICC to investigate if there is enough proof to hold Israel accountable for potential war crimes it committed against Palestinians during last year’s offensive on Gaza. During the 51-day assault, an estimated 2,260 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed and more than 5,000 Palestinians and a handful of Israelis were wounded.

Israel’s  Jerusalem Post reported that Bensouda told Abbas she was examining evidence to attest to whether the new round of violence and incitement between Israel and the Palestinians could be classified as war crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction.

The newspaper also reported Bensouda as stressing “the need for calm and restraint from all sides, and an end to the violence.”

Bensouda also underscored that “innocent people have been injured and killed on both sides,” and cautioned that the situation “may further degenerate into a large-scale commission of crimes that may fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC.”

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