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Israel ‘relieved’ as ICC adjourns war crimes probe

July 18, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Building of the International Criminal Court, in Hague on 23 December 2019 [Wikipedia]

The Israeli government breathed a sigh of relief after a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to adjourn without opening an investigation against Tel Aviv over possible war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to Israeli media, reports Anadolu Agency.

The ICC pre-trial was supposed to assess if the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has the authority to open an investigation into war crimes by Israel along with defining the territorial boundaries within which the investigation will take place.

In May, Bensouda said that there is a basis to launch an investigation into war crimes committed in Palestine, including the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

If an investigation were opened, several Israeli officials, including the prime minister, and army heads, would be subject to criminal proceedings and possibly arrest warrants.

OPINION: Why Trump is targeting the ICC

According to the rules of the ICC probe procedures, if Israel didn’t cooperate with the court, the ICC could issue secret arrest warrants.

In June, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against the ICC and its officials for launching an investigation on possible US war crimes in Afghanistan and for opening investigations into its allies, including Israel.

According to Walla News portal, Israeli officials believe the ICC will resume work on the case in mid-August, after its summer vacation.

Trump sanctions ICC to protect Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Trump sanctions ICC to protect Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]