ICC Delays Israel-Palestine Debate Because Prosecutor Exceeded Page Limit

Meanwhile, Netanyahu calls for sanctions on the international court for its 'full-frontal' attack on the Jewish people's right to live in Israel

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, center, in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, August 28, 2018.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, center, in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, August 28, 2018.Credit: Bas Czerwinski /AP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The International Criminal Court will delay its debate into whether it has the jurisdiction to probe alleged Israeli war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem due to a procedural error related to the filing's page limit, the court announced Tuesday.

"The Chamber agrees with the Prosecutor that the nature, novelty and complexity of the issue, that is, the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the situation in Palestine ... gives rise to 'exceptional circumstances,'" the court decision read, granting the prosecutor's request for an extension of the page limit but asking her to file a new request.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the International Criminal Court is in a "full frontal attack" on democracy and the Jewish people's right to live in Israel.

"The U.S. government under President Trump has spoken forcefully against the ICC for this travesty," Netanyahu said, "and I urge all your viewers to do the same and ask for concrete actions, sanctions, against the international court. Its officials, its prosecutors, everyone."

Last month, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated that there is readonable basis to investigate Israel for its actions but has requested the court to decide over the question of its jurisdiction in the Palestinians territories. Israel's attorney general argued that the ICC, to which Israel is not a party, "lacks jurisdiction in relation to Israel and that any Palestinian actions with respect to the court are legally invalid," as the Palestinian Authority is not a sovereign states, although it has joined the ICC's Rome Statute.

The Prosecutor's Office specifically noted allegations that Israel has been involved in demolishing Palestinian property and evicting Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It also referenced 2014's Operation Protective Edge, the war in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel's plan to evacuate residents of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar, and Israeli construction of settlements in the West Bank.

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