Gaza, Jan 17 (IANS) The Hamas Saturday welcomed a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to start looking into possible Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in an emailed statement that the probe “is the right step in the right direction”, reported Xinhua.
“Hamas calls on the International Criminal Court to finalise all the procedures, in order to bring the leaders of the (Israeli) occupation to court,” he said.
He also said that Hamas was ready to work with the ICC by providing all needed documents, evidence and testimonies that would show that the Israelis “committed war crimes in Gaza against our people”.
Since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Israel has waged three large-scale military campaigns against Gaza, the longest of which was launched July last year for 50 days.
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) foreign ministry also said in a statement Saturday that “the decision is important and positive towards achieving justice”.
The ICC announced Friday that it launched an initial survey, a stage that precedes the probe into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories “to check if there is a reasonable base for starting the probe”.
On Friday, Israel denounced the court’s decision as hypocrisy and the US had also criticised it.