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Palestine asks ICC to probe Israeli violations in Sheikh Jarrah

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)
Two school boys walk past a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem al-Quds, May 5, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the forced relocation of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The ministry sent a letter pertaining to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah to the ICC on Tuesday.

Ibrahim Melhem, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said in a post on Facebook that the threat from the Israeli regime to seize Palestinian homes in the neighborhood violates international law.

In a letter sent to the chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, the ministry urged the prominent lawyer to include the issue at hand in the court’s investigation into Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

The ICC opened the formal investigation in March.

On Wednesday, the Wafa news agency cited Omar Awadallah, an official within the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, as saying that the letter had been sent “under the directive of President Mahmoud Abbas.”

“The forcible transfer of population and associated war crimes and crimes against humanity fall within the Rome Statute [of the International Criminal Court],” the official was quoted by the agency.

Some 28 Palestinian families face the threat of forceful eviction from the neighborhood.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has already warned Israel against the move.

In a statement on Sunday, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, held the Israeli regime responsible for harming the inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah.

Palestinian homes and structures in the area are being demolished for the construction of a new Israeli settlement outpost.

On Tuesday, the military wing of Hamas said Israel would “pay a heavy price” if it does not stop aggression against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah.

According to the Palestinian Information Center, Mohammed Deif, chief of staff and supreme commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a rare and strongly-worded statement to deliver a “final” warning to the Israeli regime.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories since.

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