“Israel” to ICC: We Don’t Recognize You, Won’t Cooperate
Story Code : 926164
The ICC's chief prosecutor announced on March 3 that she had opened a full investigation into the situation in the occupied territories.
The ICC sent a deferral notice on March 9, which gave “Israel” and the Palestinian Authority a month to tell judges whether they are investigating crimes similar to those being probed by the ICC.
A day before the deadline, “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying that the entity’s government had agreed "to not cooperate with the [ICC]."
The statement said “Israel” would send a letter to the court "completely rejecting the claim that ‘Israel’ commits war crimes."
The letter will also "reiterate ‘Israel's’ unequivocal position that The Hague tribunal has no authority to open an investigation against it."
The Palestinians, who have been a state party to the ICC since 2015, have welcomed the investigation and said they will not seek any deferral.
The world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, the ICC was set up in 2002 to try the humanity's worst crimes where local courts are unwilling or unable to step in.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said her investigation will cover the situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip along with the Occupied West Bank and east Al-Quds since 2014.
It will mainly focus on the 2014 Gaza War but also look at the deaths of Palestinian demonstrators from 2018 onwards.
Netanyahu has said the decision to open the probe was the "essence of anti-Semitism" and claimed that “Israel” was "under attack."