A delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to visit the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in February, a Palestinian Authority official said.A member of a national committee in charge of follow-up with the ICC, Wasel Abu Yusif, told Ma’an News Agency that the visit will include ongoing investigations into cases raised to the international court by Palestinian leadership, against Israel.
The ICC is currently conducting a preliminary probe on possible Israeli war crimes in the region.
The probe, which was opened in January of this year, is not a full investigation, but an examination of available information to be used in deciding whether or not there is a ‘reasonable basis’ to proceed with a full investigation.
The turn to the ICC, by Palestinian leadership, has been referred to as “diplomatic terrorism” by Israeli officials.
Palestinian leadership moved to the ICC amid ongoing violations, carried out by Israel, which international rights group Amnesty International investigations have referred to as ‘war crimes’.
The turn to the ICC was also influenced by the lack of progress made through peace negotiations in creating an independent Palestinian state.
Abu Yusif said that the committee held a meeting, recently, between all of its members in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, headed by PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, to discuss a recent report published by the ICC on Palestine.
He added that the committee had discussed several proposals to hold Israel legally accountable, for its crimes against Palestinians, at the ICC.
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