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PA foreign ministry, Hamas welcome ICC probe

Jan. 17, 2015 5:51 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2015 4:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said it welcomed the decision to open an initial probe on Israeli war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

The ministry said in a statement that the ICC decision was a positive and important step towards achieving justice and guaranteeing respect of international law.

Palestine will fully cooperate with the ICC and facilitate its mission until justice is achieved, the statement said.

"The State of Palestine has signed the Rome Statue to guarantee an end to war crimes and crimes against humanity, which Israel, the occupying authority, has committed and is still committing against our people," it added.

The Hamas movement also applauded the decision, saying it was ready to present thousands of documents to the ICC that prove Israeli war crimes have taken place.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that the war crimes probe was an important, long-awaited step.

"This step will be a spark of hope that Palestinians will be able to see the Israeli leadership prosecuted and held accountable for their crimes," Barhoum said.

On Friday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during Israel's military assault on Gaza last summer.
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