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The Palestinian government has submitted a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) calling on prosecutors to open an immediate investigation into what it called Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Al Jazeera reports that Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki arrived on Tuesday at the independent court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, to meet with Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

“The State of Palestine took an important and historic step towards justice for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer from ongoing, widespread and systematic crimes,” said Malki in a press conference after the meeting.

Malki said the referral addressed a myriad of issues, including “settlement expansion, land grabs, illegal exploitation of natural resources, as well as the brutal and calculated targeting of unarmed protesters, particularly in the Gaza Strip”.

The diplomatic move comes after widespread outrage in the occupied Palestinian territories and internationally over the Israeli army’s killing on May 14 of 62 unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip, in what was described by rights groups as a massacre.

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