After visiting Israel and Ramallah, the ICC prosecutor says he will intensify investigations

by Chloe Baker
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ICC investigations

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Karim Khan, recently concluded a significant visit to Israel and Ramallah. During this visit, he emphasized the importance of the ongoing ICC investigation into potential crimes committed by Hamas militants and Israeli forces. The investigation, initiated in 2021, is progressing diligently and relies on substantial evidence rather than emotions.

The backdrop for this investigation is the conflict that erupted after the October 7 attacks by Hamas and other militants, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties, primarily civilians, in southern Israel, with around 240 individuals taken hostage. Hamas has reported over 15,200 deaths in Gaza since the start of the war, with a significant proportion being women and children. Moreover, more than 40,000 people have been injured during this conflict.

Karim Khan, in a written statement following his visit, expressed his shock at the deliberate cruelty witnessed during the October 7 attacks. He met with Israeli victims’ families and called for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages held by Hamas and other militants. He characterized the attacks as among the most serious international crimes that the ICC was established to address and reiterated his commitment to holding those responsible accountable.

Khan also mentioned his willingness to cooperate with local prosecutors, aligning with the principle of complementarity. However, it’s worth noting that Israel, as a non-member state of the ICC, does not recognize its jurisdiction.

During his visit, Khan also met with Palestinian officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas, and spoke to Palestinian victims. He emphasized the application of international humanitarian law, even in densely populated areas where fighters may be embedded among civilians. He urged timely and independent examination and investigation of credible allegations of crimes during the conflict.

Additionally, Khan stressed the importance of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza, highlighting the dire conditions faced by doctors and patients operating without adequate resources. He also expressed concern about the increase in attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, terming settler violence as unacceptable.

In summary, Karim Khan’s visit underscores the seriousness with which the ICC is approaching its investigation into potential crimes by both Hamas militants and Israeli forces. The focus remains on gathering objective and verifiable evidence to ensure a credible legal process.

For the full coverage of this development, you can refer to AP’s comprehensive report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ICC investigations

What is the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigating in Israel and Ramallah?

The ICC is investigating potential crimes by Hamas militants and Israeli forces in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks, which resulted in significant casualties, primarily civilians.

When was the ICC investigation into these potential crimes initiated?

The investigation was launched in 2021.

What approach is ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan emphasizing during this investigation?

Karim Khan stresses the importance of an evidence-based approach rather than emotional reactions to ensure a rigorous and determined investigation.

How has the conflict in the region impacted the casualty numbers?

The conflict following the October 7 attacks led to around 1,200 casualties, with the Health Ministry in Gaza reporting over 15,200 deaths, mostly women and children. Additionally, more than 40,000 people have been wounded.

Is Israel a member state of the ICC?

No, Israel is not a member state of the ICC and does not recognize its jurisdiction.

What did Karim Khan say about the seriousness of the October 7 attacks?

Karim Khan characterized the attacks as some of the most serious international crimes, shocking the conscience of humanity, which the ICC was established to address.

What is the principle of complementarity that Khan mentioned?

The principle of complementarity means that the ICC acts as a court of last resort, stepping in to prosecute war crimes when local courts are unable or unwilling to take action.

What is Karim Khan’s stance on humanitarian aid for Gaza?

Karim Khan emphasized the necessity of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza and expressed concern about the challenging conditions faced by medical professionals and patients.

How is Karim Khan addressing the increase in attacks by Israeli settlers in the West Bank?

Karim Khan condemned settler violence as unacceptable and stated that investigations into these incidents are being accelerated.

Where can I find the full coverage of this development?

You can find comprehensive coverage of this development at AP’s report.

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