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International Criminal Court Raises Alarm Over Israeli Rafah Operations, Urges Justice For War Crimes

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Karim Ahmad Khan, a prosecutor with the International Criminal Court (ICC), voiced grave concerns Monday over the recent Israeli military operations in Rafah.

Khan, on social media, warned of an intensified focus on bringing to justice those responsible for what he fears are violations of the Rome Statute.

“I am deeply concerned by the reported bombardment and potential ground incursion by Israeli forces in Rafah,” Khan stated in a tweet.

According to the Rome Statute, the ICC can exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes. It can then intervene or step in when national jurisdictions fail to act or when one of the 123 states is unable or unwilling to carry out an investigation.

Khan’s update on X seemed to be a direct response to an overnight operation by Israeli special forces in Rafah. The Israeli military successfully liberated two hostages, but the mission also led to the deaths of numerous Palestinians.

This development comes against the backdrop of ongoing hostilities and violence that have marked the region since the attacks on Oct. 7, 2023.

The ICC was established in 2002 as a court of last resort for the gravest offenses, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Khan reiterated the principle that all wars have rules, emphasizing the unchanged conduct of Israel despite his consistent warnings from Ramallah last year.

“To all those involved: my Office is actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed.  Those who are in breach of the law will be held accountable,” Khan stated.

I am deeply concerned by the reported bombardment and potential ground incursion by Israeli forces in Rafah.   My Office has an ongoing and active investigation into the situation in the State of Palestine. This is being taken forward as a matter of the utmost urgency, with a…

— Karim A. A. Khan KC (@KarimKhanQC) February 12, 2024

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday: “Israelis on October 7th were dehumanized, hostages continue to be dehumanized, but that cannot be a license to dehumanize others.”

Blinken reiterated the need to find peace and security for Israelis and for Palestinians.

As per Reuters, the Israeli offensive in Gaza has led to significant casualties and displacement, with more than 28,000…

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