The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has warned that transfer of population in an occupied territory constitute war crime.
“I have been following with concern the planned eviction of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank. Evacuation by force now appears imminent, and with it the prospects for further escalation and violence,” Bensouda said, in a statement on the situation in Palestine, Wednesday.
“It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute.”
Bensouda, who also said that she was similarly alarmed by the continued violence at the Gaza border with Israel, revealed that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories remains under preliminary examination by her office.
“I continue to keep a close eye on the developments on the ground and will not hesitate to take any appropriate action, within the confines of the independent and impartial exercise of my mandate under the Rome Statute, with full respect for the principle of complementarity,” she concluded her statement.
Israel plans to destroy the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, and transfer its residents in order to build a new Jewish settlement in its place.
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