Turkey supports Palestinian bid to try Israel at international court: Çavuşoğlu
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on May 22 that Israel will “give an account” over the killing of more than 60 Palestinians in Gaza last week, vowing that Turkey supports Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s taking of the issue to the International Criminal Court.
“If Israel does not given an account for creating terror, its carelessness will gradually increase. Because of this, Israel will give an account. Today, our Palestinian Foreign Minister brother Riyad al-Maliki has taken Israel’s actions to the International Criminal Court. We will pursue this,” Çavuşoğlu said during an opening ceremony in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat district.
Al-Maliki asked on May 22 prosecutors at the International Criminal Court to launch a full investigation into accusations of Israeli human rights abuses on Palestinian territory, saying the evidence was “insurmountable.”
He submitted a so-called “referral” giving the prosecutor at the Hague-based court the legal basis to move beyond a preliminary inquiry started in January 2015.
The International Criminal Court has the authority to hear cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the 123 countries that have signed up to it. Israel has not joined the court, but because the Palestinians have Israelis could be targeted for crimes committed on Palestinian lands.
Israel rejected al-Maliki’s move as “legally invalid,” saying the court lacks jurisdiction because the Palestinian Authority is not a state and Israel abides by international law.
“The Palestinians continue to exploit the court for political purposes, rather than work towards resuming the peace process with Israel,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“It is absurd that the Palestinian actions vis-vis the court come at a time when the Palestinians continue to incite to acts of terrorism,” it added.