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Israel reverses policy, decides to open dialogue with ICC: official

A senior Israeli official says the ICC does not have any authority to hear Palestinian complaints on the Gaza issue

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Israel has decided to reverse its policy and open dialogue with International Criminal Court (ICC) over a preliminary examination into Palestinian complaints regarding last summer’s war on Gaza, a senior Israeli official said.

The official told the local Haaretz in an interview published Thursday that the purpose of the contact with an ICC prosecutor in The Hague is only to make its position clear to the court. He also said ICC does not have any authority to hear Palestinian war-crimes complaints.

In May, the ICC warned Israel over its lack of cooperation with an initial probe into possible breaches of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories and that it may go for a full-fledged investigation without its input.

Although the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has not initiated a formal complaint, the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda’s office is investigating potential crimes on its own initiative, including incidents from last summer’s war in Gaza.