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Israeli regime should stand trial at ICC: Turkish president

People salvage belongings amid the rubble of a damaged building following strikes on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 12, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again criticized Israel for its ongoing atrocities in the Gaza Strip, emphasizing the need to hold the occupying regime accountable at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Erdogan made the remarks on Saturday as he returned from a day-long visit to Germany, saying there is sufficient evidence to hold Israel accountable at ICC, while vowing to use all available means to ensure that impartial punishment is delivered for the regime’s crimes.

"There is ample evidence” for Israel to be tried at the ICC, he said, stressing that We will do everything in our power to ensure that these crimes are punished impartially."

The Turkish president went on to say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “a goner” and “the world will get rid of him,” adding that currently, 60-70% of the Israelis oppose him.

Erdogan further noted that his country has stood by the oppressed in Gaza and will continue to do so.

"Israel is attempting to obstruct aid and starve Gaza of food and water. But we do not give up," he said. "Regardless of the obstacles, we will continue to keep Gaza alive. The entire world, particularly Islamic countries, should mobilize to provide aid."

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, at least 12,000 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, most of them women and children.

Tel Aviv has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

The Israeli military is continuing its deadly bombing campaign against Gaza despite widespread international condemnation.

Five nations seek war crimes probe in Palestinian territories

Meanwhile, five countries have jointly submitted a referral to the ICC, urging an investigation into potential crimes in Palestinian territories.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said on Friday that he has received the joint request from Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, adding that the request was made "to ensure that the ICC pays urgent attention to the grave situation in Palestine."

The ICC prosecutor stated that there is already an ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestinian territories for potential war crimes committed since June 13, 2014.

The prosecutor’s office also said it had so far "collected a significant volume of information and evidence" on crimes in the Palestinian territories.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has already warned that his office is collecting evidence that could result in an international investigation against Israel’s political and military leaders, as the occupying entity keeps pounding almost all areas and facilities of the blockaded territory, including hospitals, schools and residential buildings.

Israel, like the United States, is not a member of the ICC. It refused to cooperate with the court in 2021 over the war crimes investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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