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Why does the ICC keep failing Palestine? (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Khan warned in a post on X, following intense Israeli strikes on Rafah, that the court is “actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed” in Gaza.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan said on Monday that he was “deeply concerned “about reports of bombardment and potential ground invasion by Israeli forces” in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Khan warned in a post on X, following intense Israeli strikes on Rafah, that the court is “actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed” in Gaza.

“My Office has an ongoing and active investigation into the situation in the State of Palestine. This is being taken forward as a matter of the utmost urgency, with a view to bringing to justice those responsible for Rome Statute crimes,” Khan said, adding:

“All wars have rules and the laws applicable to armed conflict cannot be interpreted so as to render them hollow or devoid of meaning.”

Khan also said that, since his message from Ramallah last year, he has “not seen any discernible change in conduct by Israel.”

“As I have repeatedly emphasized, those who do not comply with the law should not complain later when my Office takes action pursuant to its mandate,” he said.

UN officials and international law experts have criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its slow handling of prosecuting those responsible for Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. 

The failure of ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to take measures such as issuing arrest warrants against those responsible, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been widely criticized.

Triestino Mariniello, a member of the legal team representing Gaza victims before the ICC, has also criticized Khan for applying “double standards” when it comes to war crimes committed by Israel.

“One finds it difficult to understand why the Prosecutor remains silent in relation to the mass killing of Palestinians and the extensive destruction of civilian homes,” Mariniello, Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, wrote in an article on the Opinio Juris website.

In November 2023, South Africa, along with a few other countries, referred Israel to the ICC for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its assault on the Gaza Strip. 

“We have put through a referral because we believe that war crimes are being committed there,” the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said.

Ramaphosa stressed that there is “a need for the whole world to rise and call upon the Israeli government to cease fire, to stop what is happening, and we want the ICC to investigate, and of course, legal measures then need to be taken at a global level.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,340 Palestinians have been killed, and 67,984 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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