World

International Criminal Court opens probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during an Arab foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Abbas asked the Arab League to provide a "safety net" of $100 million a month to cover tax revenues withheld by Israel in retaliation for his attempt to join the International Criminal Court. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during an Arab foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Abbas asked the Arab League to provide a "safety net" of $100 million a month to cover tax revenues withheld by Israel in retaliation for his attempt to join the International Criminal Court. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks briefly with relatives of Yoav Hattab, one of four French Jews killed in an attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris last week, during their funeral service, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. Thousands of mourners joined Israeli leaders and the families of the four Jewish victims of the Paris terror attack for an emotional funeral procession on Tuesday, reflecting the deep sense of connection and concern in Israel over the safety of fellow Jews in Europe. (AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks briefly with relatives of Yoav Hattab, one of four French Jews killed in an attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris last week, during their funeral service, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. Thousands of mourners joined Israeli leaders and the families of the four Jewish victims of the Paris terror attack for an emotional funeral procession on Tuesday, reflecting the deep sense of connection and concern in Israel over the safety of fellow Jews in Europe. (AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

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.