Middle East Monitor / May 2, 2020
On Friday The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) welcomed the news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reiterated her position that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague, Wafa News Agency reported.
Bensouda confirmed her position that the ICC has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.
“The Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants and remains of the view that the court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Bensouda wrote in a 60-page document.
The Times of Israel stated that Bensouda’s view could pave the way for an investigation of alleged war crimes committed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
While the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki welcomed Bensouda’s position, the Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who leads the cabinet’s handling of the ICC file, accused her of fabricating her position based on false propaganda information stemming from her hatred of Israel.
“I am forced to conclude that the prosecutor’s latest position continues to espouse her typical anti-Israel stance, as influenced by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the global BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement,” Steinitz was reported as saying by the Times of Israel.
“We trust that the facts of this issue will prevail and that the long-awaited investigation into war crimes committed in the territory of the State of Palestine will soon be launched,” the PLO expressed.