ICC prosecutor threatens Israel with more LEGAL ACTION if it does not stop killing Palestinians in Rafah
By Laura Harris // Feb 16, 2024

A prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has warned Israel that his office may be pushed to take action if Tel Aviv's military activity in the southern Gazan refugee city of Rafah results in gross violations of international law.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, Israel conducted a bombardment and a ground incursion in Rafah on Feb. 12. The recent airstrikes have targeted 14 homes and three mosques, resulting in at least 67 casualties.

Analysts have warned that the indiscriminate airstrikes may be in preparation for a possible ground invasion of the city, which is currently home to approximately a million Gazans displaced from other parts of the Strip by Israel's invasion.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already working overtime to claim that an assault on Rafah is necessary, with its latest statement claiming that four Hamas battalions are present in the city.

It argued that Israel could not achieve its goal of eliminating the militants as long as they remained in the area and called for the evacuation of civilians from the combat zone. (Related: Israel-Hamas war will continue until rights are recognized – analyst.)

To date, half of Gaza's population is reportedly concentrated around Rafah, a sixfold increase compared to its pre-war population. This has turned Rafah into the most densely populated city in the world.

"When you have a population that is 60 percent children and women by all accounts, the risks to civilians are profound. This situation is one that I give the utmost priority to. It's an issue that we're moving forward on," said ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.

Khan, who has been a vocal critic of Israel's military assault in Gaza since the conflict began in October, warned Israel that his office has an ongoing and active investigation into the situation in Rafah.

"All wars have rules and the laws applicable to armed conflict cannot be interpreted so as to render them hollow or devoid of meaning. This has been my consistent message, including from Ramallah last year," said Khan. "Since that time, I have 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."

In December, Khan called on Israel to respect international rules of war and accelerated the investigation into reports of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, internationally recognized as Palestinian territory. Then, on Feb. 12, he made a similar statement to warn Israel of the consequences of its actions.

"I was crystal clear that this is the time to comply with the law," said Khan. "If Israel doesn't comply now, they shouldn't complain later."

Callamard: Israeli incursion in Rafah will have devastating consequences

Israel, who is not a member of the ICC and not recognizing its jurisdiction, has faced allegations of atrocities in its attacks on Gaza. However, the ICC claims that it can investigate nationals of non-member states in certain circumstances, including when alleged crimes are committed in the territories of member states.

In other words, the ICC has jurisdiction over potential war crimes committed by both Hamas Palestinian militants in Israel and Israelis in the Gaza Strip.

However, Tel Aviv consistently denies any atrocities in its attacks on Gaza. The conflict, which started on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israelis and the abduction of around 240 hostages.

After more than four months, much of the densely-populated Gaza Strip lies in ruins. Gaza health officials have reported 28,340 Palestinians dead – the majority being women and children – and 67,984 wounded.

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard also claimed in a post on X that nowhere in Gaza is safe for Palestinians.

"The Israeli incursion will have devastating consequences: Mass killings, forced transfers [and] more war crimes. The carnage must stop," she said.

Learn more about the ongoing invasion of Gaza and the genocide of the Palestinian people at WWIII.news.

Watch this video from Southfront Press discussing the very costly gains Israel is making in its invasion of Gaza.

This video is from the channel The Prisoner on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Hamas leaders preparing for “permanent war” with Israel.

Netanyahu: Israel to take over “security” in Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war.

World War 3 could be imminent as Israel-Hamas war escalates, experts warn.

Looking for more trouble? Israeli airstrikes hit Damascus amid escalating Israel-Hamas war.

Middle East scholar: Iran-backed Hezbollah joining Israel-Hamas war is a “game-changer.”

Sources include:

MiddleEastEye.net

Reuters.com

Brighteon.com



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