An official request was submitted on Tuesday, a week after 62 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border.

The International Criminal Court, The Hague

The International Criminal Court, The Hague Photo credit: Vincent van Zeijst, Wikimedia Commons

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Tuesday requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) launch an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes following last week’s deadly clashes along the Gaza Strip border.

Shortly after meeting the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, Maliki convened a press conference and called the move “an important, historic step toward justice for the Palestinian people, which continues to suffer from systemic, expansive crimes.”

According to Maliki, the referral submitted on Tuesday gives the court the legal basis to move beyond the preliminary investigation into Israel it had launched in 2015.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry dismissed the move, calling it “legally invalid” and claiming that the court has no jurisdiction because the Palestinian Authority is not a state. It added that Israel abides by international law.