(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The International Criminal Court's move to open a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes committed against Palestinians is a welcome gesture on the part of the global institution. Predictably, Israel has slammed the act, calling it "scandalous", according to a UAE daily.
"The court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said her office would conduct an "analysis in full independence and impartiality" into alleged war crimes, including those committed during last year's Gazans' oppression and killing of children by the Israeli army," said Gulf Today in its editorial on Sunday.
The paper continued, "Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Malki welcomed the move, and so did Amnesty International." Palestine formally joined the ICC earlier this month, allowing it to lodge complaints of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Israel. Over 2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed during last summer's tension in Gaza.
Palestine's move to join the ICC is also seen as part of a shift in strategy to seek global support in its campaign for statehood and move away from the stalled US-led peace process.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now entering uncharted territory as tensions between the two sides escalate. Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for UN Political Affairs, warned that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis had taken the challenging steps or made the bold decisions needed to shore up confidence, further reducing the possibility of talks resuming. Strictly speaking the blame is entirely Israel's.
"It remains to be seen what the outcome will be when key Mideast mediators, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, meet on January 26 in Brussels to discuss the way towards Israeli-Palestinian peace," concluded the daily.