April 8 (UPI) — The International Criminal Court warned it is closely monitoring violence on the border between Israel and Gaza.
ICC lead prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issued a statement Sunday warning that the “deteriorating situation” in which protests on the border have resulted in dozens of deaths could cause her office to take action.
“Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets,” Bensouda wrote. “Violence against civilians — in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza — could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities.”
She noted the ICC is conducting a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine and any new alleged crime may be subject to scrutiny from her office.
“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution before the Court, with full respect for the principle of complementarity,” she said. “The resort to violence must stop.”
Bensouda’s comments come after two Palestinians including 31-year-old journalist Yasser Murtaja were shot and killed by Israeli troops Friday.