Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Photo: via Palestine Chronicle)
A UN human rights expert has lauded a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a formal criminal investigation into war crimes allegations in Palestine.
UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Territories Michael Lynk said in a statement that the investigation is a “momentous step forward in the quest for accountability”.
Quoted by Anadolu Agency, the UN official said: “Accountability has, until now, been largely missing in action throughout the 52-year-old occupation”.
Lynk added that over the years, the international community adopted hundreds of resolutions through the UN condemning various features of Israel’s entrenched occupation of the Palestinian territory but it rarely combined criticism with consequences for Israel.
“Now, the possibility of accountability is finally on the horizon,” he stated.
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced on December 20 she was “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine.” The projected measure includes an investigation into violations committed against the Great March of Return staged by nonviolent Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border fence.
In response, representatives from the Israeli ministries of foreign affairs and justice and the national security council have discussed practical ways to respond to the ICC chief prosecutor’s decision, including preventing the entry of ICC staff to Israeli-occupied territories, Israeli Israel Hayom reported a couple of weeks earlier.