Hamas hails ICC decision on jurisdiction over Palestinian territories

Hamas hails ICC decision on jurisdiction over Palestinian territories

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has hailed the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a decision to extend jurisdiction to the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has hailed the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a decision to extend jurisdiction to the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War.

“Any international decision that leads to supporting the rights of Palestinians, defends their freedom, provides them with justice and prosecutes war criminals is in conformity with human values and international human rights,” said Raafat Marra, the head of the Hamas media department, in a press release on Friday, the Palestinian Information Center reported on Saturday.

The Hague-based intergovernmental organization, the ICC, has announced that Pre-Trial Chamber I of ICC decided, by the majority, that the court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since the said war.

The statement means that the ICC can now open a war crimes investigation into Israeli military actions in the occupied territories.

The court will have a hard time prosecuting Israelis for the crimes they committed against Palestinians, but it can issue arrest warrants that will make it difficult for Israeli officials to travel abroad.

“We are confident that any court that enjoys integrity, justice and professionalism will stand by the Palestinian people and their rights”, Marra said, calling for the use of all means to stop terrorism and Zionist crimes against the Palestinians.

“The Zionist entity (Israel) and its leaders practiced organized terror against the Palestinians, robbed them of their rights and the international silence encourage them to continue their criminal practices against the Palestinians.”

Palestinians joined the court in 2015, a year after they asked it to open a probe into Israeli crimes during its 2014 bloody war against the blockaded Gaza Strip, as well as the regime’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel is not a member of the ICC. It says the court has no jurisdiction over the issue because Palestinians do not have statehood.

The ICC has so far affirmed the statehood of Palestine several times.

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