ICC chief prosecutor calls for end to violence in Gaza

The Palestinian photojournalist Yasser Murtaja, shot by an Israeli sniper while filming a Palestinian protest, is carried to his burial, Apr 7, 2018. (photo: Samar Abu Elouf / ImagesLive)

Attacks on civilians could be unlawful under international criminal court treaty.

By Owen Bowcott | The Guardian | Apr 8, 2018

“Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defense Forces, with over 1,000 more injured, many as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber bullets. Violence against civilians, in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza, could constitute crimes under the Rome statute of the [ICC] . . . .”
— Fatou Bensouda, ICC chief prosecutor

The chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has called for an end to violence in Gaza after hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of a Palestinian journalist shot beside Israel’s security fence.

Yasser Murtaja, a 31-year-old photographer, was wearing a clearly marked press vest as he reported on a mass demonstration along the Gaza border, in Khuzaa, on 6 April when he was shot. The area was engulfed in thick black smoke from tyres that had been set on fire.

Murtaja was one of about 30 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire over the past 10 days along the border. As many as 491 people were wounded in last Friday’s protest against the founding of the Israeli state in 1948. Mass rallies are due to continue until 15 May.

In a strongly worded statement, Fatou Bensouda, a lawyer from Gambia and the ICC’s chief prosecutor, based in The Hague, cautioned both sides about the “deteriorating situation.”

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