Israel to reject ICC war crimes probe

Tel Aviv, April 9 (IANS) The Israeli government Israel said that it will formally reject the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel will formally respond to a notification from the ICC with a letter to clarify that it will not cooperate with the investigation, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement issued on Thursday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

The letter will “make it clear that the ICC lacks the jurisdiction to investigate” and Israel is able to investigate itself, it said.

Israel also “completely rejects” charges of possible war crimes committed by the Jewish state against the Palestinians, it added.

In February, a panel of judges at the ICC decided that the tribunal does have jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes by Israel in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem shortly after the war, claiming it as part of its “indivisible capital” in an act never recognised by most of the international community.