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ICC team ‘actively investigating’ in Gaza
ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan Pic: Shutterstock

02 Nov 2023 / global news Print

ICC team ‘actively investigating’ in Gaza

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has told the annual conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) that the court has a dedicated team that is “actively investigating” the situation in Gaza.

Karim Khan was speaking in an interview with IBA executive director Mark Ellis at the conference in Paris yesterday (1 November).

“Where there is no hope, there is no justice, just violence and extremism,” he said, adding that “one of the best balms to the voices of hate is justice”.

Acknowledging the challenges the ICC has in managing reduced resources to fund investigations, Khan noted that there was sometimes “a lack of real vigour to fund institutions that have to deliver on promises to victims”.

He added, however, that current crises had focused people’s attention on the importance of law, justice, and accountability.

‘Critical context’

Khan acknowledged the suffering of Israeli victims, as well as other communities globally affected by war and violence, saying that he had spoken to Israeli families about attacks from Gaza.

He said that the “unique history” of the Jewish people supplied a critical context for the impact the attacks have had on Israeli society.

He also noted that the same applied to Palestinians, who had faced their traumas and uncertainty.

Khan condemned all forms of international tribalism, which, he said, “almost forces people to deny the humanity of others”.

The ICC chief prosecutor told the conference that Israel had a responsibility to comply with the rules and customs of war, one stated in unambiguous terms – not just a moral obligation, but legal obligations that should be adhered to.

There should also be no impediments to material relief, Khan added.


On Ukraine, Khan discussed the background and timing behind deciding to indict Russian president Vladimir Putin before the ICC over the alleged illegal deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

Without excluding the possibility of other indictments, he said any new charges would be based on the evidence before the ICC and solely on the evidence, which would first be presented to the ICC’s judges for their consideration.

On the idea of creating a special tribunal for the crime of aggression, Khan said that institutions had to be very sensitive to allegations of double standards over selecting such tribunals, not least between countries in the global north and south.

Gazette Desk
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