THE NEWS THAT FATOU BENSOUDA, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has opened a formal investigation into the “Situation in Palestine” is a historic breakthrough, says Amnesty International. The investigation will cover crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, since 13 June 2014.

Matthew Cannock, Head of Amnesty International’s Centre for International Justice, said: “This is a momentous breakthrough for justice after decades of non-accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC investigation provides the first genuine prospect for thousands of victims of crimes under international law to gain long overdue access to justice, truth and reparations.

“It is also a historic opportunity to finally put an end to the pervasive impunity that has driven serious violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for more than half a century. The decision sends a clear message to all perpetrators of crimes under international law in the OPT – you shall not escape justice.”

Amnesty is calling on governments worldwide to offer their full political and practical support to the ICC as it begins its investigation, and says the ICC must immediately commence outreach to affected communities in the OPT and Israel.

* Read the statement from Fatou Bensouda here.

* Source: Amnesty International