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Palestinian Authority demands faster ICC probe into Israel war crimes

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo taken on August 6, 2014 shows a Palestinian man sitting on the debris of a home destroyed by the Israeli regime in Gaza City's al-Tufah neighborhood. ©AFP

The Palestinian Authority has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to accelerate an investigation into the case of Israeli abuses and war crimes during the regime’s 50-day military aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.

“We had no expectations that Israel would do anything but justify its war crimes in the biggest military campaign against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and renounce all responsibility, after an investigation that its colonial regime carried out,” Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General and top negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

Erekat said the cases that were closed involved Israel’s bombardment of civilian areas, including UN buildings and shelters, hospitals and other structures.

He said Palestinians have already submitted information about Israel’s war crimes to the Hague-based ICC.

“The Israeli position, which renounces all responsibility for war crimes, means it’s time the International Court starts doing more than mere examining,” Erekat pointed out.

The top Palestinian official’s remarks came on the same day that the Israeli army closed seven files about killings of scores of civilians in the Gaza war.

Among the cases was the shelling of a UN school in the town of Rafah, which sheltered more than 3,000 displaced people against the Tel Aviv regime’s aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army claimed in a 21-page report published on Wednesday that no wrongdoing was found in the August 3, 2014 attack, which claimed at least 10 lives and left dozens more wounded.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on those responsible for the “gross violation of international humanitarian law” to be held accountable. He said the “Israeli army had been repeatedly informed of the location of such sites.”

Heavy smoke billows from a section of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip following an Israeli military strike on July 29, 2014. ©AFP

Israel launched its latest war on the Gaza Strip in early July 2014.

The 50-day military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children. Over 11,100 others — including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people — were also wounded in the war.

Israel continues to carry out attacks on the Palestinian enclave from time to time.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

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