Geneva (QNN)- Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has strongly condemned Israel’s decision to refuse to cooperate with the International Criminal Court(ICC).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Euro-Med Monitor said it “believes that the Israeli decision stems from its knowledge that the Israeli army had committed violations that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, which explains their attempts to not cooperate with any international investigations and avoid accountability.”
Israel's refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) is an indirect admission that its army had committed war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territoryhttps://t.co/sSQR6os9Hj
— Euro-Med Monitor in oPt (@EuroMedoPt) April 8, 2021
It added that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the occupation state of ‘Israel’, considers that the International Criminal Court has no authority to initiate an investigation against it. Therefore, his government had agreed “to not cooperate” with the ICC.
Netanyahu headed a session of consultations to formulate Israel’s final position on this issue, with heads of the political, security and judicial departments. The senior ministers and officials decided to provide the ICC with a short response as possible. The Israeli decision was approved by the “Minister of Defense” Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The occupation state said on Thursday it would formally reject the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch a probe into war crimes against the Palestinians, denying that it has committed such crimes and saying the court lacks the jurisdiction to investigate.
‘Israel’ claimed the court is biased against it and has no right to investigate, citing its own judicial processes and the fact that the Palestinians have neither a state nor defined borders.
“In addition to totally rejecting the claim that Israel commits war crimes, Israel reiterates its unequivocal position that the Hague Tribunal has no authority to open an investigation against it,” the Israeli occupation government said in a statement, detailing a letter it plans to send to the ICC.
“Israel is committed to the rule of law and will continue to investigate any charges against it regardless of the source, and it expects the tribunal to refrain from violating its authority and sovereignty,” the statement said.
The letter was in response to an official notice sent to all parties by the ICC last month.
The brief one-and-a-half page letter briefly laid out the three main areas it intends to cover: the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, Israeli settlement policy, and the 2018 Great March of Return protests that left hundreds of Palestinians dead.
On March 3, 2021, the chief prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda said that she launched a formal probe into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office,” she added.
‘Israel’ is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, a position backed by its close ally the United States.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations and not to yield to any political pressures or allow the parties involved to evade responsibility.
Euro-Med Monitor also called for the need to find mechanisms to achieve justice for victims of violations and hold the perpetrators accountable.
Euro-Med Monitor reiterates its call for the European Union to support the ICC’s investigation and ensure the protection of lawyers, witnesses, civil society activists involved in the probe, and those collecting relevant information.