A French lawyer said on Friday that he had filed a complaint on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister at the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing Israel’s military of having carried out “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip.
More than 800 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s offensive in Gaza, launched on July 8 in response to Hamas militants firing rockets into the Jewish state.
The complaint targets “war crimes committed by the Israeli army in June and July 2014 in Palestine” in the context of the operation known as Protective Edge, Gilles Devers told reporters.
“Israel, the occupying power, is carrying out a military operation which in principle and form violates the basis of international law,” he said. “Every day new crimes are committed and over 80 percent of the victims are civilians. Children, women, hospitals, UN schools… the Israeli soldiers respect nothing.
“This is a military attack against the Palestinian population.”
The Israeli offensive has left more than 5,200 Palestinians injured, according to emergency services in Gaza, and 33 Israeli soldiers and two civilians have died, too.
The Palestinian Authority, which has non-member observer state status at the United Nations, has not yet signed up to the Hague-based ICC, due to what Devers said were “political” quarrels over the Palestinians’ status.
But according to Devers, the complaint is still valid.
The UN Human Rights Council is launching a probe into Israel’s offensive in Gaza, with rights chief Navi Pillay saying the Jewish state’s military actions could amount to war crimes.