Mandelblit Challenges ICC Jurisdiction in War Crimes Allegations

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit (Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has submitted his formal opinion to the International Criminal Court that it does not have jurisdiction in Israel and therefore cannot prosecute war crimes alleged against it.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda conveyed Mandelblit’s opinion on Monday to the preliminary assembly of the court in the Hague, though it was not announced and went unreported in the media until Tuesday.

In a cover letter to the judges sitting on the case, Bensouda wrote that she was transmitting the legal brief to them in case Israel decides not to participate in hearings on the issue.

If Israel does not show up, this would at least ensure its arguments were taken into account (and that Israel could not claim its arguments were ignored), according to The Jerusalem Post.