Israel refuses to work with ICC on War Crime probe, says :no authority”
JERUSALEM: Israel on Thursday said it has formally decided not to cooperate with an International Criminal Court war crimes investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The ICC's chief prosecutor announced on March 3 that she had opened a full investigation into the situation in the Israeli-occupied territories, infuriating Israel, which not a member of The Hague-based court.
The ICC sent a deferral notice on March 9, giving Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) a month to inform judges whether they are investigating crimes similar to those being probed by the ICC.
Had Israel informed the court that it was in fact carrying out its own probe into alleged war crimes perpetrators, it could have asked for a deferral.
Ahead of the deadline, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement saying the government had agreed "to not cooperate" with the ICC. Israel would instead send a letter to the court "completely rejecting the claim that Israel commits war crimes", it said. The letter would also "reiterate Israel's unequivocal position that The Hague tribunal has no authority to open an investigation against it". "The state of Israel is committed to the rule of law... and expects the court to refrain from violating its sovereignty and authority," the statement reads.
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