Israel’s National Security Council has warned the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that the International Criminal Court (ICC) “will likely open an investigation at some point this year into the 2014 Gaza war and West Bank settlement construction”, reports the Times of Israel.
According to a report broadcast by Channel 10 news yesterday, a secret presentation submitted to the Knesset committee last week, entitled “Strategic Situation Assessment for 2018”, included a concern that the ICC will soon move from the examination phase into formal investigations of “Operation Protective Edge”, and Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements.
The presentation also “reportedly warned that in the absence of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, there is likely to be an increase in both attempts to delegitimise Israel and calls to boycott the Jewish state.”
Last month, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda published an updated on her office’s preliminary examinations, including with respect to the State of Palestine.
In her conclusion, Bensouda wrote: “The Office has made significant progress in its assessment of the relevant factual and legal matters necessary for the determination of whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”
She said the assessment would continue with a view to reaching “conclusions on jurisdictional issues within a reasonable time frame”, but did not give any specifics.