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Palestine urges immediate ICC probe into Israeli crimes

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki (Photo by AP)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has submitted a request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an immediate investigation into the situation of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

During a meeting with ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Malki urged immediate action by the Hague-based court in light of the Israeli regime's intention to annex the West Bank, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported Thursday.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would annex the occupied West Bank if he won another term in office.

He said he would not shy away from expanding illegal annexations to the West Bank, a land which the Israeli regime occupied during the 1967 Middle East war.

Netanyahu had previously said the fate of the West Bank, where President Mahmoud Abbas has its seat of power in the capital Ramallah, should be decided in talks with the Palestinians who seek to establish their own state in the territory.

A spokesman for Abbas said at the time that Netanyahu’s comments would not affect the illegal nature of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank which currently hosts some 400,000 settlers.

Malki also called on the ICC to intervene to bring justice to the Palestinian victims of the Israeli violence as Israel's legal system is unfair and acting as part of the military occupation system.

The top Palestinian diplomat cited how Israeli courts dropped the murder charge against the perpetrators of an arson attack on the Dawabshe family in the West Bank village of Duma.

On July 31, 2015, a large fire broke out after settlers threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the town of Duma, setting them ablaze while their inhabitants were asleep.

The arson attack killed 18-month-old baby, Ali Dawabsheh, and critically wounded his father and mother, Sa’ad and Riham, who later succumbed to their injuries.

Ali’s four-year-old brother, Ahmad, who was also wounded in the assault, remained the sole survivor of the ill-fated family.

The Palestinian official also handed over an annual report to the ICC over Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

Palestinians file official complaint against US

Malki also filed a complaint with the ICC against the United States for moving its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds, which violated the international law. He further expressed Palestine's support for the ICC in light of US threats against it.

Washington officially opened its new embassy in al-Quds on May 14 last year, a few months after US President Trump recognized the holy city as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017.

Following those moves, President Abbas declared that Palestinians would no longer accept the US as a mediator to resolve the conflict with Israel because Washington was “completely biased” towards Tel Aviv.

Under President Donald Trump, the US administration has taken several hostile measures against the Palestinian people, among them a change of policy on Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel lays claim to the whole city, but Palestinians view its eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.

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