MIDDLE EAST

Arab League calls on ICC to investigate ‘Israeli crimes’

Israeli soldiers walk amidst smoke from a fire in a wheat field near the Kibbutz of Nahal Oz, along the border with the Gaza. (AFP)

The Arab League’s Permanent Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday called on the International Criminal Court prosecutor to urgently investigate “the crimes of the Israeli occupation” against Palestinians.

“Israel is an oppressive and murderous entity and its politicians and officers must be taken to the International Criminal Court,” Amjad Shamout, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.

Shamout was referring to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli forces during clashes and protests on Monday over the deeply controversial opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem.

The ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said Tuesday she would “take any action warranted” to prosecute crimes.

“My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within” the tribunal’s jurisdiction, she said in a statement to AFP, adding: “The violence must stop.”

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the “massacres” of Palestinians, which he said resemble “war crimes”.

In a statement he called on the international community to “protect the Palestinian people, who have chosen the path of peaceful struggle and have been confronted with brutality, violence and murder”.

The Arab League will hold emergency talks Wednesday to discuss what it has called Washington’s “illegal” relocation of its embassy to the disputed city.

Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 KSA 19:12 - GMT 16:12
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