ANI Photo | Hague prosecutor: Hamas’ October 7 crimes ‘Shock the Conscience of Humanity’

Soldiers search for human remains in the rubble of Kbbutz Be'eri (Photo/TPS)

Tel Aviv [Israel], December 4 (ANI/TPS): Hamas’ brutal slaughter of more than 1,200 people in Israel on October 7 represents “some of the most serious international crimes that shock the conscience of humanity,” International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said on Sunday as he concluded a visit to the Jewish state.
Khan travelled to Israel at the request of families whose loved ones were murdered or taken hostage by terrorist groups based in the Gaza Strip, the prosecutor announced in a blog post on Sunday. Jerusalem does not recognise the court’s jurisdiction over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“In both Kibbutz Beeri and Kibbutz Kfar Azza, as well as at the site of the Nova Music Festival in Re’im, I witnessed scenes of calculated cruelty,” wrote Khan, vowing to work in partnership with victims’ families “as part of our ongoing work to hold those responsible to account.”
He called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the estimated 137 hostages who remain captives of Hamas, citing in particular “the egregious breach of fundamental principles of humanity through the taking and continued holding of children.”
Commenting on Israel’s military operation against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Khan noted that the Israel Defence Forces “has trained lawyers who advise commanders and a robust system intended to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law.”
“Conflict in densely populated areas where fighters are alleged to be unlawfully embedded in the civilian population is inherently complex, but international humanitarian law must still apply and the Israeli military knows the law that must be applied,” said the prosecutor.
“As I have repeatedly emphasised, civilians must have access to basic food, water and desperately needed medical supplies without further delay, at pace and at scale. And when such aid arrives, it must not be diverted or misused by Hamas,” the blog post continued.
During a meeting with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Khan discussed ways to “deepen our cooperation under the Rome Statute,” the ICC’s founding charter. The prosecutor said he also spoke with “victims and their families from the West Bank and Gaza.”
In 2015, the PA declared its acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICC over alleged crimes committed by Israel. However, Israel does not recognise ICC jurisdiction over the so-called “situation in Palestine.”
The US has likewise voiced strong objections to the Palestinians’ joining the International Criminal Court, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously expressing “serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.” (ANI/TPS)

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