20:42 GMT26 February 2020
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    The prime minister's statement came shortly after the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would open a full investigation into "the situation in Palestine" as it had been determined that war crimes had been committed there.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the International Criminal Court's intention to probe the situation in Palestinian territories. According to Netanyahu, the ICC has no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation in Palestine.

    "The court has no jurisdiction in this case. The ICC only has jurisdiction over petitions submitted by sovereign states. But there has never been a Palestinian state," Netanyahu said on Friday.

    The court's prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier in the day said that she would not require the authorisation of the Pre-Trial Chamber to launch the investigation as Palestine had asked for a probe.

    "Today, I announce that following a thorough, independent and objective assessment of all reliable information available to my Office, the preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met," Bensouda said in a statement.

    Tensions have exacerbated in Palestine with clashes between Hamas militants and the Israeli military at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.

    Palestinians have been conducting a so-called Great March of Return since 2018 - a public action calling for their return, as well as the return of their descendants, to land that lies in present-day Israel.

    Tags:
    ICC, investigation, Palestine, Israel
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