ICC checks Israel war crimes charges in Gaza

ICC prosecutor in The Hague has launched a "preliminary analysis" for any war crimes committed by Israel in its offensive.

ICC checks Israel war crimes charges in Gaza

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in The Hague has launched a "preliminary analysis" for any war crimes committed by Israel in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, the prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Documents also showed that the Palestinian National Authority has recognised the jurisdiction of the ICC, in a move designed to allow investigations of alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has received communications on this issue from Palestinian justice minister Ali Kashan, the Palestinian National Authority, and more than 200 other individuals and non-governmental bodies said.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) lodged a declaration with the ICC registrar, recognising the court's jurisdiction over the alleged crimes, the nature of which the prosecutor's office did not divulge.

The ICC prosecutor's office said it had received 210 communications from individuals and non-governmental organisations regarding events in Gaza.

"The office of the prosecutor will carefully examine all relevant issues, including on jurisdiction," the prosecutor said in a statement.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1300 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last month called for independent investigations into war crimes after Israel's shelling of a U.N. school compound killed 42 people, including women and children, on Jan. 6.

Israel bombed the compound after UN resolution on ceasefire to end Israeli attacks on Gaza.

U.N. officials also said war crimes may have been committed after Israeli tank fire killed two boys in another U.N. school.

Israel has not signed the Rome Statute creating the ICC. The ICC can investigate alleged war crimes in the territory of a state party, if the U.N. Security Council refers a situation to the court or if a non-state party voluntarily accepts the jurisdiction of the court.

But the prosecutor added that the preliminary analysis does not necessarily mean an investigation will be opened.

Reuters
Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2009, 15:55
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