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Israeli troops destroy Palestinian coronavirus checkpoint in West Bank

ISRAELI soldiers destroyed a coronavirus checkpoint set up by Palestinians at the entrance to the West Bank city of Jenin today during operations in which they opened fire on refugee-camp residents.

Troops carried out a number of raids in the city and its refugee camp, shooting at least one man in the leg during protests against their presence. Israeli security forces detained at least two people before destroying a Covid-19 monitoring station.

On Sunday hard-liners from the illegal settlement of Yitzah torched hundreds of olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the West Bank villages of Burin and Madama. Agricultural land was also destroyed in the village of Beita. Such attacks increase during the dry summer period yet are rarely punished by the occupying Israeli forces. The attacks are deemed to be war crimes.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki warned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to make an imminent decision on opening an inquiry into Israeli atrocities committed in the occupied territories.

Israel sought to obstruct the court from investigating war crimes, insisting that it did not have jurisdiction to do so. But prosecutor Fatou Bensouda ruled earlier this year that there is a basis to launch such a probe.

The ICC pre-trial adjourned on Saturday with Israeli officials claiming work on the case is expected to resume mid-August. But Mr Maliki dismissed the notion, saying that the judges are continuing their work with a decision due at any time.

Should an inquiry be opened, several Israeli officials, including the prime minister and army chiefs, would be subject to criminal proceedings and possibly arrest warrants.

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