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PA: ICC prosecutor asked the PA to “keep secret” that it received advance notification of investigation launch

Official PA TV host: “Going back to the recent decision of [ICC] General Prosecutor [Fatou Bensouda], have you made contact with her?” ...

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki: “Yes, we are in constant contact with her… and her office from the first moment when we set foot in the ICC in 2014... [We’re in touch] directly or indirectly, through the visits we are making, through the contact via our delegation at The Hague, or through the periodical reports we are submitting to the general prosecutor’s office. We made contact before the announcement [of the ICC investigation], and we were informed a number of hours before the announcement that there will be an announcement. We knew about this, but they asked us to keep it secret... We are currently seriously considering visiting The Hague and meeting with the general prosecutor to discuss the following steps. What can be expected from her? ... What is required of us? What do they expect from the government of the State of Palestine in this matter, and when can we expect the arrival of the ICC’s first delegations  for preparations ahead of beginning the investigation?” ...

Official PA TV host: “But there has been no contact with you from the general prosecutor’s office after this decision?”

Riyad Al-Malki: “There was, there was.  Yes, contact has been made between us and the general prosecutor’s office regarding the request for a meeting” ...

Host: “Is this visit expected to be soon?”

Riyad Al-Malki: “It depends first of all on the steps taken in Holland against the [Coronavirus] epidemic... Maybe the meeting will be possible next week. Maybe it will be the following week or later.”

ICC Decision on Prosecuting Israelis (2021) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it was launching an investigation against Israel on March 3, 2021, after the pre-trial chamber of the ICC issued a decision on Feb. 5, 2021, granting the ICC jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute Israelis for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The decision came despite the fact that Israel is not a member of the ICC, and there is no “State of Palestine.” Nevertheless, the PA has been a member of the ICC - a right otherwise reserved for states - since 2015. The ICC’s decision also opens the possibility of prosecution of Palestinians who have committed such crimes against Israelis.

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