The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says she has opened a preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories.

Fatou Bensouda said in a statement Friday she will conduct the preliminary examination in "full independence and impartiality."

The announcement comes after the Palestinian Authority acceded to the court's founding treaty and recognized its jurisdiction dating back to the eve of last summer's Gaza war. That move opened the door to an ICC investigation that could target possible crimes by both Israel, which is not a member of the court, and Palestinians.

A preliminary examination is not an investigation, but weighs information about possible crimes and jurisdiction issues to establish whether a full investigation is merited.