Palestinian delegation meets with ICC officials in Amman

The parties will discuss several issues relating to the preliminary examination of whether the settlements constitute a war crime.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (photo credit: REUTERS)
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Amman is hosting the first meetings in the region between an official Palestinian representatives and an International Criminal Court Prosecution delegation, to discuss the allegations of war crimes regarding the settlement enterprise, Jordan’s Al-Ghad daily reported on Sunday.
Until now, the PA teams have always traveled to meet with the ICC in The Hague.
Amman was likely selected as a nearby regional meeting place to avoid a clash with Jerusalem over whether it would grant ICC officials access to Israel or the PA territories.
According to the report, the parties will discuss several issues relating to the ICC prosecution’s preliminary examination of whether the settlements are a war crime: disputes over east Jerusalem, environmental issues, alleged expropriation of territory, homes demolition and the alleged Israeli use of Palestinian natural resources.
The Palestinian source who spoke with Al-Ghad claimed that the discussions will be decisive, saying that following them, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda would decide whether the material collected by the Palestinians can serve as the basis of an indictment against Israelis in the ICC.
However, in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post in February, Bensouda indicated that she was in no rush to conclude her preliminary examination of potential war crimes issues.
Asked if Bensouda would commit to concluding her examination before her term expires in 2021, she refused to do so.
In the Russia-Georgia and Colombia cases, the ICC examined the situation for eight years and more than 10 years, respectively, before opening a full criminal investigation or closing the case.
Even in the hotly debated scenario where Bensouda moves from just examining jurisdictional issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as she is currently doing, to a full criminal investigation, an additional period of years and vetting would likely occur before she decided whether to file indictments or not.
The report did not mention whether the PA officials discussed with the ICC prosecution the alleged war crimes against Palestinians.
Since “Palestine” joined the ICC in January 2015, PA officials have often made public announcements about the ICC moving toward imminent action against Israel without their predictions coming to fruition.