International Criminal Court gets referrals from 5 states for investigation of Israeli attacks on Gaza
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday said that it has received referrals from five states for an investigation of Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
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The referrals came from South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, and the East African nations of Comoros and Djibouti, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement.
Under the court’s Rome Statute, a state party may report to the prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the court appear to have been committed, and request that the prosecutor investigate the situation to determine whether one or more specific individuals should be indicted for the commission of those crimes, Khan explained.
He confirmed that his office is already investigating the situation in Palestine with an investigation that began in March 2021.
It includes examining actions that could be considered Rome Statute violations since June 13, 2014, in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, he added.
"The investigation is ongoing and covers the increase in hostilities and violence since the attacks on October 7, 2023. In accordance with the Rome Statute, our office can investigate crimes committed within a State Party's territory and against its nationals," he said.
The prosecutor said that upon starting his term in June 2021, he established a specialized team to make progress on the investigation of the situation in Palestine.
"As I stated in my recent visit to Rafah Crossing, pursuant to its mandate, this Unified Team is moving with focus in collecting, preserving and analysing information and communications from key stakeholders in relation to relevant incidents," he said.
The office has gathered "a significant volume of information and evidence," he said and added: "I continue to encourage all those with relevant information to contact my Office."
Since Israel started bombing Gaza on Oct. 7, at least 11,500 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.
An Israeli blockade also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a small trickle.