The International Criminal Court has launched an inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, opening a path to possible charges against Israelis or Palestinians.
In a statement on Friday, prosecutors said they would examine "in full independence and impartiality" crimes that may have occurred since June 13 last year. This allows the court to delve into the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014.
The US State Department said it strongly disagreed with the move. The United States has argued that Palestine is not a state and therefore not eligible to join the ICC.
"We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor's action," spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement late on Friday. "The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiation, not unilateral actions by either side."