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ICC prosecutor condemns Hamas massacre as 'crimes that shock the conscience of humanity'

Karim Khan visits Israel, tours devastated Gaza border communities

International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, visits a Gaza border town devastated by Hamas, on December 3, 2023. (Photo: Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum)

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, visited Israel to investigate the terror organization Hamas’ brutal atrocities committed on Oct. 7 against Israeli civilians.

Khan who personally visited the devastated border communities in southern Israel, condemned Hamas for its unprecedented war crimes.

“The attacks against innocent Israeli civilians on 7 October represent some of the most serious international crimes that shock the conscience of humanity, crimes which the ICC was established to address,” Khan stated. Addressing the families of the Israeli victims, Khan vowed that his office would proceed “to hold those responsible to account.”

The senior ICC official reportedly agreed to visit Israel at the request of the families and friends of Israelis who were murdered or abducted by Hamas on Oct, 7 when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists, including their accomplices, invaded southern Israeli border communities.

Khan who is a British lawyer of Pakistani origin, made history by becoming the first ICC prosecutor to visit Israel. Khan was clearly affected by the systematic destruction that he witnessed during his visit to Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Kibbutz Be'eri and the site of the Nova Music Festival in Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza Strip border.

“I witnessed scenes of calculated cruelty,” Khan recalled.

He also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining Israeli and international hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.

“I called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken by Hamas and other terror organisations. There can be no justification for the holding of any hostages, and in particular the egregious breach of fundamental principles of humanity through the taking and continued holding of children. Hostages cannot be treated as human shields or bargaining chips,” Khan stated.

The senior ICC official also met with senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. Khan also voiced concerns about extremist settler violence against the Palestinian population in the West Bank.

The International Criminal Court has a history of hostility towards Israel.

In February 2021, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the ICC of “pure anti-Semitism” for deciding to investigate Israelis for “war crimes” while defending themselves against terrorism from Hamas and other extremist organizations that are committed to Israel’s destruction.

“When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes – this is pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu stated.

“The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people. First, it outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime. Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children and rocket our cities — we are committing another war crime,” added the premier.

The Israeli government hopes Khan's appointment as the ICC's chief prosecutor will bring some measure of fairness and balance in the rulings and focus of the ICC.

Following his first official ICC visit to Israel and the West Bank, Khan expressed some optimism about the future.

“It is my hope that this visit represents my first but not my last to both Israel and Palestine. Even in this deeply troubling current context, I leave with some hope that the core of our collective humanity can survive this moment,” he stated.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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