Two Latin American states ask ICC to probe Israel’s WAR CRIMES against Palestinians
By Belle Carter // Jan 23, 2024

Two countries in Latin America – Mexico and Chile – have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe possible war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.

On Jan. 18, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs issued a statement over this matter. It argued that since the ICC was a "crucial platform for determining international criminal responsibility," it is imperative for it to conduct real investigations. Meanwhile, Chilean Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren said his country stands by "investigation of any possible war crime" committed by either side of the conflict.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed the referrals sent by Mexico City and Santiago on Jan. 18. "The referral confirms the urgent need for the court to fulfill its mandate, to deter, investigate, and prosecute the most serious crimes of concern for the international community," the ministry said in a statement, lamenting that "Israeli officials are not deterred as they continue with their genocidal war."

Based in The Hague, the ICC is is an international court with jurisdiction to prosecute and try individuals for committing international crimes, including crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Palestine joined the ICC in 2015, giving the court jurisdiction in occupied Palestinian territory. However, Israel is not a member of the ICC and does not recognize its jurisdiction or formally engage with it.

In 2021, the ICC prosecutor launched an investigation into possible war crimes committed from 2014 onwards by both Israel and Palestinian groups in Palestinian territories. Later in November 2023, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said in November the investigations now "extend to the escalation of hostilities and violence" committed since the current conflict started last year.

Khan's statement came after referrals made to the court by Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, Djibouti and South Africa to probe the current war. However, the chief prosecutor received criticism from Palestinians over his apparent pro-Israel bias and his foot-dragging in the ongoing investigations.

Legal expert: U.S. should support ICC investigations

The U.S. counts itself as among Israel's staunchest allies, but one legal expert has insisted that the U.S. should support the ICC's war crime probe. His remarks followed the October 2023 bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip, which happened some time after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

Legal researcher Ahmed Abofoul mentioned that the attack on Al-Ahli can amount to a war crime. He told Turkish news agency Anadolu Ajansi that everyone, including President Joe Biden, should support the ICC's probe of the Al-Ahli hospital attack. Both Tel Aviv and Gaza City pointed fingers at each other, with Israel blaming Hamas ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Palestinian officials alleging that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was responsible.

"If Biden was sure that Israel didn't commit this crime, they should make it clear that they support the ICC's investigation in the situation of Palestine – because this is the body that has the jurisdiction to investigate those crimes," he said.

According to Abofoul, also an advocacy officer in the West Bank-based rights organization Al-Haq, this was not the first time Israel has denied responsibility for attacks on civilians. He referenced the May 2022 killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which Israel initially denied and blamed Palestinians for. While Israel eventually admitted to the murder, "no one was held accountable."

"It is an Israeli usual tactic to attempt to create doubt by lying about their attacks and hoping that the media, and even politicians, will buy into those lies and disseminate them which would influence public opinion. Then these lies in a way become the truth," said Abofoul. (Related: U.S.-based rights group calls on ICC to investigate Israeli commanders' WAR CRIMES.)

Find out about the latest updates about the Israel-Gaza conflict at

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuse the ICC of being anti-semitic for its investigation of Israeli war crimes.

This video is from The Prisoner channel on

More related stories:

South Africa accuses Israel of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention.

Israel and South Africa face off at the International Court of Justice over Gaza genocide case.

BRICS core member South Africa urges ICC to PROSECUTE Israel for war crimes.

Sources include:

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