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Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 25, 2014 at 11:28 am •  Published: July 25, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that's left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers.

The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes "crime of apartheid," ''attacks against civilians," ''excessive loss of human life" and "crime of colonization."

If the legal complaint is accepted it could give the Palestinians the first realistic chance of bringing a war crimes case against Israel.

But that's not a given. To process the complaint, the Hague-based court must first rule if it has jurisdiction in the Palestinian Authority. The territory isn't a U.N. member but became an observer in 2012, a status the ICC chief prosecutor said was required for Palestinians to sign up to the court.

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