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Pressure mounts on the ICC to probe Israel for war crimes

todayDecember 6, 2023 54

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Humanitarian group, Gift of the Givers, has become the latest party to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible war crimes in the country’s war with Hamas.

The call comes after fighting resumed after a brief pause, which had allowed the release of more than 100 hostages seized by Hamas militants and nearly 250 Palestinians from Israeli jails.

Israel launched fresh airstrikes last week, saying Hamas had violated operational pause and fired toward the Israeli territory.

The continued strife began on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1 200 people, mostly civilians. Around 240 others were taken hostage.

In retaliation, Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and has been bombarding the Gaza strip, killing over 16 000 Palestinians, with 70% of them reported to being women and children. Over 60% of houses in the Gaza Strip have reportedly been destroyed.

Gift of the Givers says the ICC needs to act as a matter of urgency as lives are being lost on a daily basis.

The group wants the Israeli government to be charged for genocide and gross human rights violations in Gaza.

The call comes several weeks after Ahmed Abbasi, who was the head of the Gift of the Givers in Gaza, was killed while returning from morning prayers.

Gift of the Giver founder, Imtiaaz Sooliman, says the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, must be held accountable for their actions.

 

Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) released a statement, confirming that it received  a referral from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, Djibouti and South Africa regarding the situation in the State of Palestine.

‘Death zones’

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is impossible to create so-called safe zones for civilians to flee to inside the Gaza Strip as Israel continue to launch bombs to the territory.

According to UNICEF’s James Elder, the so called ‘safe zones’ are actually death zones.

“The so-called safe zones… are not scientific, they are not rational, they are not possible, and I think the authorities are aware of this,” James Elder, says the spokesman for the UN children’s agency.

 

According to figures from the United Nations (UN), to date an estimated 1.8 million people have been displaced in Gaza, which is roughly three-quarters of the population.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of embedding itself in and underneath hospitals and other civilian areas as well as that they have encouraged civilians to ignore Israeli warnings to evacuate ahead of airstrikes, an accusation Hamas has vehemently denied.

The World Health Organisation’s executive board is expected to hold a rare emergency session on December 10 to discuss the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

According to the organisation, it received a request from 15 countries to hold the session, which will be convened by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in consultation with the Qatari chair.

A few hospitals in Gaza are still functioning at limited levels, reportedly due to Israeli bombings and a lack of fuel.

They are said to be increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded people who are arriving for medical attention.

Meanwhile calls for a permanent ceasefire continues to reverberate across the world.

Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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