185 ISRAELI LEADERS TELL ICC: TEL AVIV WAR CRIMES PROBE UNRELIABLE
A total of 185 Israeli scientists and intellectuals have called on Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, not to accept Israel's conclusions arising from its investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied territories.
Instead, the group of Israelis suggested that the ICC obtain the assistance of Israeli human rights organizations to gather evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israelis, Nir Hasson reported for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The letter was signed by 185 Israelis, including 10 Israel Prize recipients and 35 professors, in addition to senior reserve army officers, authors, intellectuals, left-wing activists, and researchers.
The letter noted the ICC’s practice of approaching countries potentially subject to an investigation to determine whether they plan to launch their own war crimes investigation of their nationals’ conduct.
“We … are writing to the ICC following your request to the Israeli government to clarify whether it intends to investigate complaints of war crimes allegedly committed in the Occupied Territories, including Gaza and East Jerusalem, in general, and since 2015 in particular,” the letter states.
“We understand that such a request is required in accordance with your procedures in such instances, and we do respect your method of operation.”
But the letter goes on to state, “We wish to assert at this early stage our deep suspicion, based on past experience, that the State of Israel, including its investigative and legal institutions, has no intention to seriously investigate complaints of war crimes. Our suspicion is backed by a very large number of documented cases ostensibly involving war crimes committed by Israel in the Occupied Territories in gross violation of international law. Most of these cases have not been investigated at all, and a few have been concluded with acquittal following a superficial and inadequate investigation,” the letter asserts.
The writers go on to list incidents that they allege constitute war crimes, Judy Maltz and Yaniv Kubovich also reported for Haaretz.