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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bensouda faces possible ICC order over Gaza flotilla

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In 2010, Israeli naval commandos reportedly killed at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists – eight Turks and a Turkish-American. This was 60 miles off the coast of Gaza, in the international waters, when the commandos stormed one of the vessels sailing under a Comoros flag in the Palestine-bound flotilla, Mavi Marmara. 

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Bensouda in November last year responded to persistent calls for ICC’s intervention with a statement that although there was a ‘reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed’, the case wasn’t ‘of sufficient gravity’ to merit an ICC case.

However, a team of lawyers representing the government of Comoros have now filed a request for the court to order Prosecutor Bensouda to reconsider her decision and to launch a probe into the incident. 

Israel isn’t a member of the court and has since dismissed Comoros’ move as a waste of time.

“The prosecutor already decided that the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara do not need to be looked into. As far as we are concerned this affair is over,” Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry was quoted by AP as saying. 

Meanwhile, Thursday’s submission came two weeks after Bensouda announced she would carry out a preliminary probe into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories after last summer’s conflict with Israel, a move that followed the Palestinian Authority’s decision to join the court.

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