Daily Israel Report

Int'l Criminal Court at The Hague to Probe Libya War Crimes

The International Criminal Court at The Hague is opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Libya.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/3/2011, 4:23 PM / Last Update: 3/3/2011, 8:32 PM

The International Criminal Court at The Hague is opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Libya.

According to a statement issued by the office of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an overview of the alleged crimes committed in Libya was to be presented to the court Thursday.

The overview spans events dating from February 15, the first day of protests aimed at overthrowing the 41-year-old regime of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Libya, which is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, does not recognize the authority of the Court. However, jurisdiction over the charges that Qaddafi has been ordering his troops to slaughter thousands of civilian protesters was given to the Court by the United Nations Security Council.

The statement added that the Court would focus its probe on the “most serious crimes of concern to the international community” but did not specify what those were.

Qaddafi remains holed up in the capital city of Tripoli, one of the few places over which his forces still maintain any control. He has vowed to fight to the death to maintain his power, and threatened to turn Libya into a “Vietnam” if the international community tries to intervene.

Some 170,000 Libyans have already fled the country, with tens of thousands crossing the nation's borders into Egypt and Tunisia, both of which preceded Libya with revolutions of their own in the past two months. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week agreed to a request from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to allow 300 Libyan refugees to return to their former homes in PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.