ICC prosecutor visits Israel

AFP , Thursday 30 Nov 2023

International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan visited Israel "at the request and invitation" of the survivors and families of the victims of Hamas's October 7 Al-Aqsa Flood operation, the ICC said on Thursday.

 Karim Khan
International Criminal Court Prosecutor speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and Gaza in The Hague, Netherlands October 12, 2023


"The visit, while not investigative in nature, represents an important opportunity to express sympathy for all victims and engage in dialogue," the court wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Khan is also due to travel to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank where he will meet with senior Palestinian officials, the ICC said.

Hamas militants took about 240 captives from southern Israel during an unprecedented October 7 operation that Israeli officials say killed around 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

In response, a relentless Israeli air, sea, and ground offensive has killed more than 15,000 people, more than two-thirds of them women and children.

A near week-long truce that has paused weeks of deadly conflict is set to expire early on Friday.

Opening its doors in 2002, the ICC is the world's only independent court set up to probe the gravest offenses including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

It opened an investigation into Israel as well as Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups for possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories in 2021.

Khan has previously said this investigation now "extends to the escalation of hostilities and violence since the attacks that took place on October 2023".

However, ICC teams have not been able to enter Gaza or investigate Israel, which is not an ICC member.

Legal experts have told AFP that Hamas and Israel could face war crimes charges over the conflict.

Five countries in mid-November called for an ICC investigation into the Israeli war on Gaza, with Khan saying his team had collected a "significant volume" of evidence on "relevant incidents".

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