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Lawyers from Gaza victims file case at International Criminal Court

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
24 November 2023 | 17:24 CAT

The civil society initiative could result in the issuing of arrest warrants against top Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File: Aleks Furtula/AP]

Lawyers for the Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks on Gaza filed a complaint Monday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Dutch city of The Hague.

The victims’ representative before the ICC argued that Israel’s actions amounted to the crime of genocide. Gilles Devers and a four-person delegation accompanying him submitted the complaint to the court’s prosecutor.

Addressing the press, Devers asserted that Israeli acts in Gaza constitute factors of the crime of genocide.

“The ICC is currently investigating the war crimes in a related investigation. The crime of genocide should also be included in this,” he said, adding that forcing over one million people to be displaced and cutting access to water, energy, food and medicine indicates that Israel wants the destruction of the population in Gaza.

“In the situation there are several incidents spoken of including the siege, attacks on the hospitals and refugee camps. The overall intention of Israel could be argued that we are talking about a genocide,” International Criminal Law Barrister Joanna Frivet said.

Amongst the differentiation between war crimes and genocide, Frivet highlighted the process of filing a complaint at the International Criminal Court with Radio Islam International.

According to Frivet, the first factor is whether the ICC has jurisdiction or not. In this situation, the ICC prosecutor does have jurisdiction over the incidents that are happening in Gaza right now.

“The prosecutor is able to request a warrant of arrest against the people who are involved. He is currently conducting an investigation which will result in a warrant of arrest of those most responsible for the crimes pointing to leadership. Those who ordered the implementation of the attack and monitored it,” Frivet pointed out.

As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip entered its 38th day, at least 11,180 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,700 women and children, and more than 28,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.

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 since last month.

Meanwhile, Frivet explains that the ICC prosecutor has no obstacles in front of him in the course of his investigation to issue a warrant of arrest.

However, Frivet argues that the biggest concern is when the prosecutor will do it.

“Is he going to wait another three months, or one year like he did in Ukraine. When and how he takes action could be really decisive for the fate of the Palestinians,” said Frivet.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie.

 

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