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    Israel Urges Countries to Suspend ICC Funding Over Probe Into Gaza War

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)
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    On Friday, the International Criminal Court launched a preliminary inquiry into alleged war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.

    MOSCOW, January 18 (Sputnik) – Israel urged several ICC member-states, notably Canada, Australia and Germany, to suspend funding of the International Criminal Court, after it launched a preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes perpetrated during the war between Israel and Hamas in the Summer of 2014, Reuters reports, citing Israel’s top diplomat.

    "We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding [the ICC]," Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, as quoted by Reuters.

    Lieberman stated that ICC represents no one. "It is a political body," he told Israel Radio. "There are … quite a few countries — I've already taken telephone calls about this — that also think there is no justification for this body's existence," he added.

    On December 31, 2014, the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute of the ICC in a move condemned by Israel. Palestine will officially become ICC member-state on April 1.

    Lieberman’s remarks come after the ICC announced that it was launching a preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories in July-August 2014. "The Office will conduct its analysis in full independence and impartiality," ICC said in a statement issued on Friday.

    The probe is "a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation pursuant to the criteria established by the Rome Statute," ICC explained.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
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    Lieberman called ICC decision "scandalous", saying its only goal was to "harm Israel’s right to defend itself against terror," as quoted by the Jerusalem Post. He promised that Israel would make every effort to "to bring about the dismantling of this court which represents hypocrisy and gives impetus to terror."

    "It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side. We will continue to oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive to the cause of peace," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

    In July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge targeting Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The campaign claimed the lives of over 2,100 people, mostly Palestinians, according to the United Nations. Of those, approximately 1,500 were identified as civilians, including 495 children, according to UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Over 100,000 people were left homeless.

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)


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    war crime, Operation Protective Edge, investigation, Hamas, International Criminal Court (ICC), Avigdor Lieberman, Palestine, Israel, Gaza Strip
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