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10 Israel rights groups to help ICC probe occupation's crimes

International Criminal Court building in The Hague on 30 July, 2016 in the Hague, Netherlands [Michel Porro/Getty Images]
International Criminal Court building in The Hague on 30 July, 2016 in the Hague, Netherlands [Michel Porro/Getty Images]

Ten Israeli rights groups pledged to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC) in advancing its ongoing investigations into crimes committed in Palestine, B'Tselem said on Tuesday.

In a statement posted on its website, B'Tselem said: "Ten human rights groups that operate in Israel sent a first of its kind joint letter to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, voicing support for his intention to visit Palestine and for advancing the Court's ongoing investigation, following upon his December 5 speech before the Assembly of State Parties."

The letter said: "We warmly welcome your statement earlier this month, that one of your objectives for 2023 would be to go to Palestine."

Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, B'Tselem, Combatants for Peace, HaMoked: Centre for the Defence of the Individual, Human Rights Defenders Fund, Parents against Child Detention, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Torat Tzedek – Torah Of Justice and Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights all signed the letter.

They added: "Justice delayed is justice diminished; and while one waits for the long arc of the moral universe to finally bend towards that delayed justice, crimes continue to take place, emboldened by the prevailing impunity. Thus, a nimbler court is, indeed, key."

According to B'Tselem, the signatories stressed their commitment to helping the ICC move forward with its investigation.

READ: ICC urged to investigate Israel's crimes

"It is our position that crimes, indeed, have been and are being committed; that the Court has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute; and, we are all committed to assisting your office in advancing the ongoing investigation of the Situation in Palestine," they said.

They continued: "Israel has a record of preventing international access to the oPt: UN Commissions of Inquiry, Special Rapporteurs, OHCHR staff, international scholars and human rights advocates have all been, over the years, barred entry."

"This context makes your visit – and the granting of access to your office – ever more important."

Israel has said it will not support an ICC probe into its crimes claiming that the international court lacks jurisdiction.

ICCInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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