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World

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Agencies
May 16, 2018

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Arab League calls on ICC to investigate ‘Israeli crimes’

CAIRO: The Arab League’s Permanent Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday called on the International Criminal Court prosecutor to urgently investigate “the crimes of the Israeli occupation” against Palestinians.

“Israel is an oppressive and murderous entity and its politicians and officers must be taken to the International Criminal Court,” Amjad Shamout, the committee´s chairman, said in a statement.

Shamout was referring to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli forces during clashes and protests on Monday over the deeply controversial opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem. The ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said Tuesday she would “take any action warranted” to prosecute crimes.

“My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within” the tribunal´s jurisdiction, she said in a statement to AFP, adding: “The violence must stop.” Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the “massacres” of Palestinians, which he said resemble “war crimes”.

In a statement he called on the international community to “protect the Palestinian people, who have chosen the path of peaceful struggle and have been confronted with brutality, violence and murder”.

The Arab League will hold emergency talks Wednesday to discuss what it has called Washington´s “illegal” relocation of its embassy to the disputed city.Turkey told the Israeli ambassador to temporarily leave after Ankara reacted with outrage to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli troops on the Gaza border, in the worst crisis since a 2016 reconciliation deal..

Saudi Arabia rejects US embassy move: Saudi Arabia´s council of ministers on Tuesday reaffirmed the kingdom´s rejection of Washington´s decision to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, state media said, a day after the mission´s opening.

“This step represents a significant bias against the historical, permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem,” the report said.French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday described the situation in the Middle East as “explosive” and criticised the United States for unilateral acts in the region.

“The situation in the Middle East is explosive, violence is doing the talking, war could loom,” he told lawmakers in parliament.Kuwait wants draft Gaza resolution, US defends Israel: The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday on the violence in Gaza, with Kuwait preparing a draft resolution to protect Palestinian civilians and the United States defending ally Israel’s use of “restraint.”

The emergency talks began at UN headquarters in New York.Thousands of Gaza residents turned out on Tuesday for the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops a day earlier.A Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire amid renewed sporadic clashes on the Gaza Strip border, the Gazan health ministry said.

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