Geneva - On Friday, January 16, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine, following the Palestinian authorities’ acceptance of the jurisdiction of the institution over alleged crimes committed in the territories, including East Jerusalem, since June 13.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization based in Geneva and with a team in the Gaza Strip, welcomes the prosecutor’s decision and is ready to cooperate with the court by providing it with extensive documentation of war crimes. A full investigation is required to remove the main obstacles to peace and restore the parties’ trust in international justice, which ultimately must culminate in an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the decades-old cycle of violence.

“The prosecutor’s decision to examine the information available in order to open a serious investigation into war crimes perpetrated in the Palestinian territories gives hope to the victims’ families that justice may be more than a platitude,” says Ihsan Adel, Euro-Med Monitor legal adviser. “The total lack of accountability and redress is what drives the belief that violent resistance is the only option.”

Euro-Med Monitor calls upon Western governments, especially European Union countries, to support the prosecutor’s decision and the Palestinian authorities’ action, and to pressure the Israeli government to release Palestinians' tax revenues, which it has been holding in retaliation for their decision to seek justice through international channels.