The International Criminal Court (ICC), on Tuesday, responded to a request by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry asking them to investigate Israeli settlement building and alleged war crimes.
â€śSince 16 January 2015, the situation in Palestine has been subject to a preliminary examination in order to ascertain whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met,â€ť Fatou Bensuda, the Netherlands-based ICCâ€™s chief prosecutor, said in a statement.
â€śThis preliminary examination has seen important progress and will continue to follow its normal course,â€ť she said.
Bensuda said, according to Andalou/Al Ray, that her office evaluates and analyzes all information received independently, regardless of who it was referred by.
â€śA referral or an article 12(3) declaration does not automatically lead to the opening of an investigation.
â€śThere should be no doubt that, in this and any other situation before my Office, I will always take the decision warranted by my mandate under the Rome Statute.â€ť
The Rome Statute allows the ICC to investigate whether genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or crimes of aggression have been committed in a state which is either unable or unwilling to do so itself.
On May 14, at least 65 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza were killed — and thousands more injured — by intense Israeli army gunfire.
The protests coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 — an event Palestinians refer to as the “The Nakba (Catastrophe)” — and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which took place the same day.