Request for Urgent Preemptive Statement on War Crimes in the Gaza Strip

11 October 2023
Request for Urgent Preemptive Statement on War Crimes in the Gaza Strip

The Independent Human Rights Commission, along with the Arab Network representing 18 national human rights institutions across 18 Arab countries, has jointly issued an urgent appeal to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. They are requesting intervention from the Prosecutor's office and the immediate issuance of a preemptive statement to address Israeli war crimes occurring in Gaza and to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe.

Request for Urgent Preemptive Statement on War Crimes in the Gaza Strip

Dear Mr. Khan,

We, the undersigned National Human Rights Institutions, writing to you to urgently request your attention and intervention in the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip, where a looming humanitarian crisis and potential war crimes are threatening the lives and well-being of its civilian population.

We are deeply concerned about the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip, where Israel's actions have resulted in a dire humanitarian catastrophe. The recent threats made by the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, to cut off electricity and block the entry of essential supplies, such as food and fuel, are alarming and pose a significant threat to the lives and well-being of the people in Gaza. What is particularly distressing is that these threats are being translated into action, as evidenced by the recent shutdown of the electricity plant. This situation has brought us to the brink of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe that demands immediate attention and intervention.

We are witnessing an acute shortage of drinking water, and essential medical equipment is at risk of being halted. It is imperative that these actions are halted without delay to prevent further suffering and loss of life. More than two million people in Gaza are in desperate need of assistance.

As you are well aware, the International Criminal Court plays a crucial role in upholding international law and ensuring accountability for war crimes. In light of the imminent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we urgently request a preemptive statement from your office regarding the war crimes being committed by Israel. The actions and threats made by the Israeli Defense Minister must be thoroughly examined in the context of international humanitarian law.

The potential deprivation of electricity, food, water, and gas as part of a "complete siege" on Gaza is not only a breach of international law but also a grave violation of the fundamental principles of humanity. Such actions can severely harm innocent civilians, and it is our moral and legal duty to prevent and address these crimes.

We kindly request that your esteemed office promptly investigate these actions and threats and issue a public statement on the matter. The people of Gaza urgently need international intervention and support, and a clear stance from the International Criminal Court would send a powerful message that such actions will not go unpunished.

We believe that the International Criminal Court can play a pivotal role in ensuring justice and accountability in this critical situation. We appreciate your attention to this matter and hope for a swift and resolute response.

Thank you for your commitment to upholding international law and the principles of justice. We look forward to your timely response.