The ICC should expedite the opening of a criminal investigation into the ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians and properties as “war crimes and crimes against humanity”, senior Palestinian official Saed Erekat said yesterday.
The chief negotiator said he sent a letter to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on behalf of the Supreme National Follow-up Committee complaining about the Israeli occupation’s continuous settlement activity in the occupied city of Hebron and the Israeli army’s and settlers’ attacks against the city’s Palestinian residents.
In his letter, Erekat focused on the Israeli government’s recent approval of 31 new housing units in Shuhada Street which would be the first settlement built in the area since 1979 in the heart of the old town which is “a very dangerous precedent”.
Erekat pointed that the move would lead to separating the northern parts of the Old City from its south and will increase the number of settlers by 20 per cent in addition to “the erection of more military barriers and more attacks on the Palestinians”.
He stressed that this illegal settlement is a violation of the city’s sanctity as a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO.
“Over the past 15 years, the Israeli occupation authorities have committed countless violations against the Palestinian people, including the crimes mentioned in this report,” he said, adding that “it is unacceptable that the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity”.