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The worldwide court docket prosecutor says he’ll intensify investigations in Palestinian territories

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EDE, Netherlands — The chief prosecutor of the Worldwide Felony Courtroom mentioned Sunday that his workplace will “additional intensify its efforts to advance its investigations” within the occupied Palestinian territories, after he visited the area for this primary time since his appointment.

There have been widespread claims of breaches of worldwide legislation by Hamas and Israeli forces since struggle erupted after the lethal Oct. 7 assaults by Hamas and different militants that killed about 1,200 individuals, principally civilians, in southern Israel. Round 240 extra have been taken hostage.

The Hague-based court docket has been investigating crimes within the Palestinian territories dedicated by either side since 2021 however has but to announce any costs. Israel just isn’t a member state of the court docket and doesn’t acknowledge its jurisdiction.

Prosecutor Karim Khan mentioned in a written assertion issued after his go to that he witnessed “scenes of calculated cruelty” at places of the Oct. 7 assaults.

“The assaults in opposition to harmless Israeli civilians on 7 October signify among the most severe worldwide crimes that shock the conscience of humanity, crimes which the ICC was established to handle,” Khan mentioned, including that he and his prosecutors are working “to carry these accountable to account.”

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He added that he’s prepared to have interaction with native prosecutors consistent with the precept of complementarity – the ICC is a court docket of final resort set as much as prosecute struggle crimes when native courts can not or is not going to take motion.

Khan additionally visited Palestinian officers in Ramallah, together with President Mahmoud Abbas. He mentioned of the struggle in Gaza that combating in “densely populated areas the place fighters are alleged to be unlawfully embedded within the civilian inhabitants is inherently complicated, however worldwide humanitarian should nonetheless apply and the Israeli navy is aware of the legislation that should be utilized.”

He mentioned that Israel “has skilled legal professionals who advise commanders and a sturdy system meant to make sure compliance with worldwide humanitarian legislation. Credible allegations of crimes throughout the present battle needs to be the topic of well timed, unbiased examination and investigation.”

The Well being Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza mentioned Saturday that the general dying toll within the strip because the Oct. 7 begin of the struggle had surpassed 15,200. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths, but it surely mentioned 70% of the {dead} have been ladies and youngsters. It mentioned greater than 40,000 individuals had been wounded because the struggle started.

Khan additionally expressed “profound concern” at what he referred to as “the numerous enhance in incidents of assaults by Israeli settlers in opposition to Palestinian civilians within the West Financial institution,” saying that “no Israeli armed with an excessive ideology and a gun can really feel they will act with impunity in opposition to Palestinian civilians.”

He referred to as for an instantaneous halt to such assaults and mentioned his workplace is “persevering with to research these incidents with focus and urgency.”

Khan mentioned he would search to work with “all actors” within the battle to “be sure that when motion is taken by my Workplace it’s carried out on the idea of goal, verifiable proof which may stand scrutiny within the courtroom and be sure that after we do proceed we’ve a practical prospect of conviction.”


Full AP protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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