Moreno Ocampo, a former prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said that the ICC investigation regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is considered to be a war crime that will likely result in the conviction of Israeli officials.
Middle East Monitor reports:
Luis Moreno Ocampo said that the settlements constitute a clear legal violation of the Rome Statute and the rules of international law, which forbids an occupying power from transferring its civilian population to an occupied territory.
During a special panel discussion organized by Al-Quds University yesterday evening, Ocampo said that the prosecutor’s office has gone a long way in examining the issue of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
He denied the statements attributed to him by an Israeli newspaper a year and a half ago that settlements are not illegal, pointing out that it was not the first time that the Israeli press has presented its own interpretation of statements.
In particular, he stated that what was reported in the newspaper at that time is contrary to his firm legal convictions that the transfer of the civilian population of an occupying force onto occupied land constitutes a war crime.
Ocampo explained that the case brought by the State of Palestine before the ICC has caused huge discomfort among the Israeli side and is moving the Israeli government from an attack posture to one of defence, citing a quote by an Israeli official that Israel is recruiting more lawyers than soldiers as a result of the Palestinian complaint.