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Israel's crimes in Gaza could keep ICJ busy for 50 years, UN rapporteur warns

A young Palestinian salvages a blanket from the rubble of a flat hit by Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 22, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, has warned that Israel's crimes in the Gaza Strip in nearly six months could preoccupy the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the next 50 years.

Albanese issued the warning in a post on her X account on Friday, in which she published a video showing Israeli occupation forces killing four Palestinian civilians in the city of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, using an armed drone.

"The colossal amount of evidence concerning international crimes committed by Israel in Gaza just over the past six months could keep the International Criminal Court busy for the next five decades, especially at the current proceedings pace," the UN rapporteur said.

She emphasized that accountability is "more needed than ever" in Gaza amid the continuation of Israel's crimes against the people of Palestine in the Strip.

Israel waged the war on the Gaza Strip on October 7 after the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad 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 32,142 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been killed in the strikes, and another 74,412 individuals injured.

On March 6, South Africa filed an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the “indication of additional provisional measures and the modification” of the court’s order issued on January 26 and its “decision of” February 16 which dealt with the case on the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip, according to the ICJ.

It was the third suit filed by South Africa against Israel to the court, the highest judicial body in the UN, since Tel Aviv began its devastating war on the Gaza Strip.

Numerous relief organizations have said Israeli forces are deliberately causing humanitarian suffering in Gaza, where tens of thousands have died in bombings and where famine is looming.

On January 26, the ICJ delivered its interim verdict, ruling that South Africa’s claims were plausible.

The ICJ ordered Tel Aviv to “take all reasonable measures within their power to prevent genocide” and allow humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza.

It also ordered Israel to submit a report on: “All measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month as from the date of this Order.”

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