UK submits argument to ICC over jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli official in Gaza war case

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ruled the UK can submit legal arguments regarding the prosecution’s request for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in Gaza case.

According to court documents made public, the UK, an ICC member state, filed a request earlier in June to provide written information on whether “the court can exercise jurisdiction over Israeli nationals, in circumstances where Palestine cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over Israeli nationals [under] the Oslo Accords”, referring to the 1993 agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

The UK argues that Palestinian authorities cannot have jurisdiction over Israeli nationals under the accords and, therefore, cannot transfer that jurisdiction over to the ICC to prosecute them.

Other interested parties may submit their requests on the issue before 12 July.

Granting the UK’s request could delay the judges’ pending decision on arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, Reuters reports.

Israel, flouting a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 attack last year by Hamas.

More than 37,700 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 86,500 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Human rights organizations have warned that thousands of people in the besieged enclave are facing the risk of famine amid ongoing Israeli devastating onslaught.

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