The U.S. and other western powers have been pressuring the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague not to grant a hearing to Palestinians alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza in 2009, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday,
According to the report, the ICC issue has been among the matters discussed at ceasefire talks in Cairo.
Palestinians requested that the court consider war crimes charges in 2009, following Operation Cast Lead, but that was before the Palestinians were recognized as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in 2012.
The ICC itself is divided on whether or not it has jurisdiction to probe the matter based on the 2009 request, or whether a new request would have to be submitted, according to The Guardian.
The Palestinian factions would have to agree on submitting a new request, but that would entail opening Hamas up to a war crimes inquiry, as well, scrutiny that the terrorist organization would have difficulty withstanding.
Quoting former court officials, The Guardian said that western pressure has kept the ICC from claiming jurisdiction to open an investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza.