Egypt’s human rights council hails ICC’s courage to probe war crimes in Palestinian territories

Amr Kandil , Monday 22 Mar 2021

Huge pressures have been placed on the ICC to discourage it from fulfilling its duties and responsibilities, Fayek says

Egypt National Council for Human Rights. Al-Ahram

Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) hailed on Monday the courage of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to achieve justice, highlighting its decision to start a probe into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories.

Addressing an international conference to enhance accountability for war crimes and atrocities, head of the NCHR Mohamed Fayek said huge pressures have been placed on the ICC, a statement by the council read.

He said these pressures seek to discourage the court from fulfilling its duties and responsibilities.

Fayek called on the free people worldwide to support the ICC against the illegal pressures it faces, the statement read.

On 3 March, Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda said her office has started a probe into crimes that might have been committed in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Fayek said the ICC’s decision to start the investigation comes at a critical moment. He noted that so-called “Deal of the Century” proposed by the former US administration under Donald Trump has posed threats to the legitimate and fixed rights of the Palestinian people.

Fayek added that this deal, which Palestine has rejected at the first place, has become worthless and meaningless and has only shown aggressive intentions and insistence to continue the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

He affirmed that the ICC’s step came thanks to the Palestinian people’s resistance, adherence to its legitimate rights and rejection of all attempts to undermine these rights.

“We did not have doubts, even at the darkest circumstances … that a day must come for legitimate and inalienable rights to be obtained,” Fayek said.

“Doubt did not discourage the leadership [of Palestine] and its human rights movement from working in order to obtain its rights and hold the aggressors accountable for their crimes,” he added.

Fayek said the international community shoulders a huge responsibility to deter continuous Israeli crimes and violations, which affect Palestinian people daily.

He added that the Israeli occupation faces a long series of obligations, including the necessity to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, protect civilians and remove the obstacles preventing Palestinians’ access to food and medicine.

Egypt in February hosted an emergency meeting for the Arab League at the level of foreign ministers to unify stances on backing the Palestinian cause.

Cairo in February and March also hosted meetings for Palestinian factions to agree on mechanisms of holding general elections scheduled for this year.

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