Israel to tell ICC it won't cooperate with war crimes probe

Foreign ministry says The Hague 'lacks the authority to open an investigation against' Israel


A picture taken on November 23, 2015 shows the new building of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands. AFP PHOTO / ANP / MARTIJN BEEKMAN +++ NETHERLANDS OUT (Photo by Martijn Beekman / ANP / AFP) (Photo by MARTIJN BEEKMAN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel has said that it will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s probe into alleged war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank.

The investigation, which covers events dating back to 13 June 2014, has been lauded by Palestinians and heavily criticised by the US and Israel.  

 The Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday that senior officials and ministers had agreed not to cooperate with the probe. 

Israel will send a letter to the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to dispute the Hague’s authority, according to the statement.

“In the letter it will also be pointed out that Israel absolutely rejects the claim that it has carried out war crimes. Israel reiterates its unequivocal position according to which the court in The Hague lacks the authority to open an investigation against it,” it said. 

Israel and the Palestinians were in early March given a month to inform the court of any ongoing investigations so they could obtain a deferral.

Ms Bensouda said last month the ICC would “take the same principled, non-partisan, approach that it has adopted in all situations over which its jurisdiction is seized.”

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