198 Palestinian, int'l bodies demand ICC probe Israeli war crimes
The organizations submitted a memorandum addressing Karim Khan, the ICC's prosecutor, and Silvia Fernandez de Gourmandi, the ICC's president of the Assembly of States Parties.
198 Palestinian and international organizations have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli crimes, calling for public condemnation amid an increase in Israeli murders and aggression against Palestinians.
The organizations submitted a memorandum addressing Karim Khan, the ICC's prosecutor, and Silvia Fernandez de Gourmandi, the ICC's president of the Assembly of States Parties. The memorandum calls for public condemnation of "Israel's" decision to designate Palestinian civil society organizations as "terrorist."
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In addition, the organizations demanded that Israeli crimes committed against Palestinians during the unjustified aggression on Gaza Strip last August be included in the probe. As justice delayed is justice denied, the organizations also stressed the need to accelerate the investigation process; the report should also include Israeli crimes against humanity, including apartheid, and should issue proactive statements to prevent Israeli war crimes, and prosecution pursuant to the Rome Statute's Article 9.
The organizations, furthermore, called on the ICC to take the necessary measures to prevent and deter apartheid practices.
In October, Israeli media reported that Security Minister Benny Gantz surprised the US, the UN, and the EU by his announcement to classify 6 Palestinian NGOs as "terrorist" organizations.
'Like an execution': Palestinian NGOs describe Israeli crackdown
The Israeli decision to "outlaw" several Palestinian rights groups as "terror organizations" was "like an execution" designed to stop them from probing abuses, the head of one of the bodies told UN investigators earlier this month.
These designations and their consequences are now the focus of a series of public hearings sponsored by a high-level team of UN investigators exploring Israeli human rights violations.
This form of a public hearing has only occurred twice before, with one held in 2009 during an investigation also involving "Israel".
The hearings addressed the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh that happened in May, knowing that the findings of the UN rights office suggest that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli occupation forces.
Being designated as a "terrorist" organization in October 2021 was the culmination of that, he said, characterizing it as "like an execution" aimed at preventing his organization from investigating a wide range of human rights violations. But he insisted during the live-streamed event that "we will not stop," said lead investigator Navi Pillay, a former UN rights chief from South Africa.
"We will continue fighting against the culture and the policy of impunity."
Read next: IOF Officially Blacklists 6 Palestinian Rights Groups