Palestinians urge immediate ICC probe into 'Israeli war crimes'


Israeli soldiers killed more than 60 Palestinians on 14 May in Gaza, the enclave's health ministry said, during protests focused on the USA embassy move from Tel Aviv to the disputed holy city.

Although Israel is not a member, its citizens can be charged by the court if they are suspected of committing grave crimes on the territory or against a national of a country that is a member.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki has arrived at the International Criminal Court to call on prosecutors there to open an immediate investigation into Israel's settlements in the Palestinian territories.

"This morning I'm sending out an emergency call to help save Gaza's health system", Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl told reporters in Gaza.

Israel, which came under intense global scrutiny over its handling of violence on the border on Monday and Tuesday, has accused Hamas of using the several weeks of mass protests as a cover for launching terror attacks against Israeli troops and civilians.

Israel is not a member of the ICC however, and the Israeli foreign ministry on Tuesday said it "takes a severe view" of the referral, which it called "a cynical step without legal validity".

The referral also mentions that the state of Palestine accepted ICC's jurisdiction in 2014, asserted the foreign minister.

Al-Maliki, who arrived in The Netherlands yesterday, said the Palestinian Authority wanted an investigation to be opened "without delay".

Israel says it has investigated actions by its forces during the Gaza conflict, and says it has opened a number of investigations into the latest Gaza violence as well. But critics say the probes rarely lead anywhere. It also successfully swayed the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday to launch a commission of inquiry into the IDF killing of Palestinian protestors during violent riots on the Gaza border.

A report today said that the Palestinian submission refers to the forcible transfer of Palestinians, unlawful killings, illegal appropriation of land and property, demolition of Palestinian homes and other properties, repression of dissent through the unlawful killing of peaceful protesters, and the policy of mass arbitrary detention & torture.

A four-ship Freedom Flotilla has set sail for the Gaza Strip to challenge Israel's decade-old blockade of the besieged territory.

In 2004, the U.N.'s highest judicial organ, the International Court of Justice, ruled in an advisory opinion that the settlements breached international law.

Over 600,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem - territories sought by the Palestinians as parts of their future state.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements that are illegal under the worldwide law, which prohibits construction on occupied land.