It was revealed Monday that a delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is set to visit territories under the rule of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the near future, in a probe to gather information about the PA's claims charging Israel with "war crimes."
Issam Younis, General Director of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights located in Gaza, announced the ICC probe visit in comments to the Hamas paper Palestine on Monday.
Younis said the ICC is intending to launch a "serious investigation," and that the initial information gathering stage has already begun in which the PA together with other organizations have passed alleged testimony on "the crimes that the occupation forces committed."
The Gaza-based organization head called on the international community to side against Israel and punish it for its "crimes" in defending itself from Hamas's terror war last summer.
Younis added that media publications in Israel on the shelling of a "medical clinic" used as a military site – a day after Hamas snipers killed an IDF soldier shooting from the clinic – could be used at the ICC to attack Israel.
The reference is to the controversial decision by the Investigative Military Police (Metzah) to investigate Lt. Col. Neria Yeshurun for ordering the shelling of the Hamas clinic a day after the site was lethally used against one of his soldiers.
Yeshurun is one of five senior IDF commanders who are being investigated by Metzah, with many Israelis taking to social media to protest the move they argue will harm the ability of soldiers to defend themselves and the state.
Late last week Arutz Sheva learned that Israel has partially changed its policy, and has launched a limited process of cooperation with the ICC to prove that Israel is capable of investigating and drawing conclusions about its military actions on its own, and secondly, that the ICC has no authority to discuss the PA complaints given that the PA is not a state.
As part of the move a special Israeli team has been dispatched to the ICC to argue the points in an effort to shelve the PA suit.
Israel has until now refused to grant official recognition to the ICC's authority, as doing so would lend credence to the attempts to slander the Jewish state at The Hague. The US and Russia likewise have not ratified the Rome Statue, the treaty that established the court.