The International Criminal Court (ICC) was set up in 2002 to try humanity’s worst crimes where local courts were unwilling or unable to step in.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said there was a “reasonable basis” to believe crimes were committed by both sides – by the Israeli military, Hamas – which has controlled Gaza since 2007 – and other Palestinian armed groups. Bensouda has said her probe will cover the situation since 2014 in the besieged Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. ICC prosecutors, who named groups on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides as possible perpetrators, giving them a month to inform the court if they were conducting their own investigations of the alleged crimes and want an ICC inquiry deferred while that is continuing.
Hamas has welcomed the ICC probe and argued that its attacks on Israel were justified acts of “resistance”.