Black ICC Prosecutor Looking Into War Crimes By Israel Responds To Netanyahu Attacks

Kevin Mwanza
Written by Kevin Mwanza
Netanyahu
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has responded to accusations of anti-Semitism by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In this Wednesday, April 4, 2018 image, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda waits for alleged jihadist leader Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud to enter the courtroom at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. Image: AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, was engaged in a far-ranging exchange with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he accused her of “pure anti-Semitism” for wanting to investigate possible war crimes committed in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In December, Bensouda announced she intended to investigate alleged war crimes Israel had committed in the ever-raging conflict with Palestine. This followed a five-year preliminary examination of the situation.

Israel intends to declare large parts of the Palestinian territories as Israeli land.

“They say the Jews do not have a right to live in the land of the Jews, in the Land of Israel. Well, we say, shame on you,” Netanyahu said.

“The light of truth lights here and we will overcome you, just as we overcame other anti-Semites in history.”

The Israeli president further claimed that the International Criminal Court did not have jurisdiction, as Israel is not a member of the court.

Bensouda said she would not need to request approval from judges because the Palestinian Territories had requested the intervention of the court.

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However, she still needs the court’s pre-trial chamber to rule on what geographical location can be investigated.

“I, along with my office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity. We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favor,” she said.