FILE PHOTO: The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, January 16, 2019. REUTERS
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories.
Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted ``independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.''
Bensouda said in 2019 there was a ``reasonable basis'' to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.
Following that assessment, she asked judges to rule on the extent of the court's jurisdiction in the troubled region. They did that last month, saying that the court's jurisdiction extends to territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.
The Palestinian Authority welcomed on Wednesday the International Criminal Court's decision.
"This is a long-awaited step that serves Palestine’s tireless pursuit of justice and accountability, which are indispensable pillars of the peace the Palestinian people seek and deserve," the PA foreign ministry said in a statement.