October 05, 2016 - 9:05 AM
JERUSALEM - The prosecutor's office of the International Criminal Court is sending a delegation Wednesday to Israel and the West Bank to address the Israeli and Palestinian public about its preliminary examination of possible war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.
In a statement, the prosecutor's office said its delegation is arriving for a six-day visit to "address any misperceptions" about the court. It said the delegation will hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, grant media interviews to Israeli and Palestinian press, and participate in events at academic institution, but will not collect evidence in relation to alleged crimes.
The ICC's prosecutor launched its examination in January. Palestinian officials submitted materials regarding Israeli conduct in the Gaza Strip and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The ICC probe aims to establish if there are grounds to open a full-scale investigation.
The ICC probe came after Palestinian Authority acceded to the court's founding treaty and recognized its jurisdiction dating back to the eve of the 2014 Gaza war. That move opened the door to an ICC investigation that could target possible crimes by both Israel, which is not a member of the court, and the Palestinians.
Israeli officials would meet with the delegation, one official confirmed. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss the matter, and he declined to say which officials would participate in the meeting.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016