HAVANA TIMES – More than 50 Palestinian trade unions, associations and organizations plus 500 individual victims will file a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on July 19, 2017.
The complaint has been drafted by 30 lawyers from the Gaza Bar, and the procedure coordinated by Maître Gilles Devers, with the support of a large delegation of international lawyers.
The complaint concerns three crimes:
– the blockade of Gaza
– the Israeli aggression in the summer of 2014
– the Israeli settlement of Palestine.
Hospitals which were victims of the Israeli aggressions are the first complainants.
Palestinian civil society has taken this initiative due to the lack of political will on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which has not filed an ICC complaint and does not support the procedure.
Despite ratifying the ICC treaty in December 2014, and making a retroactive declaration until June 2014 for the Court to have jurisdiction over the Israeli military aggression in Gaza during the summer of 2014, the Palestinian Authority has failed to make a state complaint.
Although the Prosecutor subsequently opened a ‘preliminary examination’ on Palestine, it has stalled.
ICC proceedings are progressive, and our action aims to move the proceedings forward from the first stage of ‘preliminary examination’ to the second, ‘open an inquiry.’
According to the Statute of the Court, the Prosecutor must open an inquiry when there is a reasonable basis to believe that a crime within the Court’s jurisdiction has been committed (Art 53).
Clearly, there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed in Gaza and Palestine, and the evidence we are presenting today should convince the prosecutor of the need to open the full inquiry.
The current situation certainly cannot continue if the ICC’s goal of ending impunity is to be realised.
LINKED PRESS CONFERENCES will be held simultaneously in The Hague and Gaza on July 19, 2017. (Note local times)
The Hague: Mercure Hotel Den Haag Central, 1pm Spui 180, 2511 BW Den Haag, Paesi Bassi Gaza: Shifa Complex, West Gate 2pm Bashir Al Alami Hall, HRDD
The delegation will then file the complaint at the ICC, the appointment being confirmed for 3 pm.