GAZA, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Hamas movement on Saturday welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories.
"Hamas welcomes the court's decision," it said, adding that the decision is "an important step to achieve justice and equity for the victims of the Israeli occupation."
On Friday, the Hague-based ICC ruled that the court has jurisdiction over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for a criminal investigation.
"The court's territorial jurisdiction in the situation in Palestine extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem," the ICC said in a press release.
Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since ousting the Fatah-dominated Palestinian self government in the summer of 2007. Since then, the Palestinian territories are split into a Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and a Fatah-dominated West Bank.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye immediately welcomed the ICC decision, describing it as "a victory for justice, humanity and freedom, as well as a redress to the victims of the Israeli war crimes and their families."
Israel, which is not a member of the court, rejected the ICC decision. Enditem