International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday announced she met with “Mohammad Shtayyeh, prime minister of Palestine” on the sidelines of this week’s Munich Security Conference.The ICC Pretrial Chamber received legal briefs from more than 40 countries and NGOs last week about whether “Palestine” is a state and whether it can refer war-crimes complaints against Israelis to the ICC for a criminal probe.
Bensouda said she met with, among others, H.E. Antje Leendertse, state secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany. Germany is one of the countries that supported Israel and said there is no “State of Palestine” for ICC purposes. She also met with Human Rights Watch, which supports war-crimes charges against Israel.On December 20, Bensouda announced her blockbuster decision to recognize a “State of Palestine,” over Israeli objections, and her desire to probe Israelis and Hamas members for alleged war crimes.If the pro-Israel groups fail to convince the ICC Pretrial Chamber to drop the case, the IDF and the Israeli settlement enterprise could be in jeopardy.Prior to Bensouda’s December 20 decision, her office had said it was also considering whether the PA might be guilty of war crimes for torture of its own people or for its so-called “pay for slay” policy.In an interview with The Jerusalem Post after the December 20 decision, Bensouda indicated she was still considering the issue but had not reached a decision. It is unclear if this issue will also come before the ICC Pretrial Chamber in the current round of legal arguments or only at a later date.
ICC chief prosecutor meets with prime minister of "Palestine"