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Reports: Israel considers denying entry of ICC investigators in response to war crimes probe

December 24, 2019 at 11:07 am

Israel is considering preventing the entry of officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to the chief prosecutor’s decision to investigate its possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, local media reported.

Israel Hayom reported yesterday that representatives from the Israeli ministries of foreign affairs, justice and national security council have discussed practical ways to respond to the ICC chief prosecutor’s decision.

The paper said representatives from the three ministers met on Sunday in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the possibility of preventing the entry of ICC staff into Israel.

READ: Will the ICC actually hold Israel to account over war crimes?

According to the paper, Israel is considering taking steps similar to the ones taken by the US administration, which refuses to grant entry visas for ICC employees in response to the court’s intention to investigate American soldiers who participated in the war in Afghanistan.

Netanyahu is to transfer all deliberations on the matter to the Israeli security cabinet and impose a gag order on it to prevent the disclosure of Israel’s future actions on the issue, the paper said.

On Friday, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced her intention to open a full investigation into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories.