Israeli military chief: Likely Palestinian war-crimes charges unnecessary


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WASHINGTON — Israel's military chief says he's disappointed that Palestinian leaders may pursue war-crimes charges against the Jewish state in the International Criminal Court.

Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz says his military forces work hard to prevent civilian casualties while still defending the country. He called the possible charges an unnecessary, unilateral step and said Israel has the ability to investigate incidents when needed. Gantz spoke to reporters after a Pentagon meeting with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The U.N. accepted a request by observer state Palestine to join the ICC, effective April 1. Israel is not a member.

Israel retaliated for the Palestinian move to join the ICC by freezing the transfer of more than $100 million a month in taxes it collects for the Palestinians.

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