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Palestine slams German president’s claim ICC lacks jurisdiction to investigate Israel

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs today slammed German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s claims that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate Israeli war crimes.

The ministry described the German official’s remarks as a “departure from the rules of international law” and an “interference with the ICC’s work and decisions”.

Steinmeier told Israeli Haaretz newspaper yesterday that his country considers that the ICC has no jurisdiction to investigate Israel, because there is no “Palestinian state”.

In its response, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said: “The status of the State of Palestine at the international level as a state with all rights and duties, is not subject to the German president or his country’s opinion.”

The ministry called on the German minister to stop granting “Israel impunity from accountability and punishment, and considering it a state above the law.”

The ICC announced in March that it was opening an investigation into war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

A statement issued by the office of the former Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the investigation will cover crimes committed since 13 June 2014 in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.