International Criminal Court at The Hague
International Criminal Court at The HagueiStock

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is planning on investigating Israeli leaders over construction in eastern Jerusalem, the expansion of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, as well as the 2014 conflict with Hamas, Operation Protective Edge.

According to a report by Channel 10 Monday evening, the Israeli National Security Council warned Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the international court is planning on opening an investigation later this year into the 2014 war with Hamas, as well Jewish housing projects in Judea and Samaria.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, have opened cursory examinations of both the IDF’s handling of the war against Hamas in 2014, as well as Jewish housing in Judea and Samaria.

But NSC officials fear the preliminary probe will be raised to a full-blown investigation sometime in 2018, raising concerns the court could try Israeli officials for alleged “war crimes”, based on the complaints issued by the Palestinian Authority.

The NSC’s concerns follow the December 4th, 2017 publication of a report by the International Criminal Court’s lead prosecutor, following describing the results of the probe’s “preliminary examination”, which began in 2015.

The 2017 report cites the ‘alleged involvement’ of Israeli authorities “in the settlement of civilians onto the territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” and cited the establishment of Amichai, the first new Israeli town built in Samaria in a quarter century, as an example.

Last June, work began on the new town, which is intended to replace the community of Amona, following its demolition last February.

“In March 2017, for the first time in decades, Israel’s security cabinet reportedly approved the construction of an entirely new settlement to ensure the relocation of the residents of the Amona outpost, who had been evacuated in February 2017 following a December 2014 ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice,” the report reads.