Palestinian rights groups snub ICC prosecutor | Inquirer News

Palestinian rights groups snub ICC prosecutor

/ 09:05 AM December 03, 2023

Palestinian rights groups snub ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan

FILE PHOTO: International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in The Hague, Netherlands, October 12, 2023. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

RAMALLAH — Palestinian human rights groups refused to meet International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan on Saturday, accusing him of favoring Israeli accusations of rights abuses over longstanding Palestinian charges.

Khan has been visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank following a request by a group representing families of victims of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas gunmen, but he was also due to meet Palestinian officials in Ramallah.


However, Palestinian activists said they would refuse to see him because they object to what they saw as unequal treatment of Israeli and Palestinian cases.


“As Palestinian human rights organizations, we decided not to meet him,” said Ammar Al-Dwaik, director general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).

“I think the way this visit has been handled shows that Mr. Khan is not handling his work in an independent and professional manner,” he said.

READ: ICC prosecutor to visit Israel at request of Oct 7 Hamas attack victims

Accusations of war crimes and human rights abuses have been made on both sides since October 7, when Hamas gunmen overran several Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,200 Israelis and seizing around 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

In response, Israel has launched weeks of air strikes against Gaza as well as an invasion by tanks and ground troops, killing more than 15,000 Gazans, according to Palestinian health authorities.

READ: Prosecutor: Impeding Gaza relief aid may be a crime under ICC jurisdiction


Khan was in Israel following an invitation from families of the Israeli hostages. He was scheduled to meet lawyers for the families’ group as well as members of the families themselves.

On Saturday, he also met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Abbas had urged Karim to investigate Israeli operations in Gaza as well as the occupied West Bank.

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TAGS: International Criminal Court, Israel-Hamas war, Palestine, rights

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