Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has stated that the awakening of Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, nearly three years after assuming his role, and 23 days after the Gaza massacre, brings shame to the court. It highlights the politicisation of the court and its ties to Western agendas that shield Israel.
AOHR UK added that Khan’s appearance on Sunday, October 29th, in front of the concrete barriers closing the Rafah crossing, captured via phone, indicates that he was there merely for the media spotlight and was not serious about entering the Gaza Strip. Nor was he serious about pursuing the crimes committed by Israel. His visit was merely a response to the criticism and pressures directed at the court throughout his tenure.
AOHR UK clarified that Khan’s statements that his office is still investigating potential crimes committed during the 2014 war are revolting. It reflects his lack of seriousness in seeking justice for Palestinians. In the events in Ukraine, Khan’s investigations didn’t take months before the court issued an arrest warrant against Putin. So when will Khan finalize results and issue arrest warrants regarding crimes from the 2014 war? And then move to investigate the countless other crimes, including the ongoing Gaza massacre?
AOHR UK pointed out that Khan mentioned crimes committed by Palestinians on October 7th in Israel and his intentions to investigate them if verified. Yet, he did not speak of the massacre perpetrated by Israel in the Gaza Strip, the number of casualties, the destruction caused by continuous bombing, and what measures he would take proportionate to the scale of the crime and the necessity of halting it.
Emphasising that before the events of October 7th, Khan had received hundreds of complaints related to the killing of civilians, settlements, detentions, torture, and intrusions into Al-Aqsa Mosque in the West Bank. However, he did nothing and remained silent, only to suddenly appear in front of Rafah crossing, discussing potential crimes in the Palestinian territories and Israel. So why didn’t Khan try to visit the West Bank to see what the occupation does there?
AOHR UK noted that in Ukraine, Khan focused on crimes committed by Russians in line with political momentum and didn’t mention crimes committed by Ukrainian security and military forces. This is a blatant breach of the court’s neutrality, further establishing Khan’s blind subservience to the West.
AOHR UK affirmed that the cases presented to Khan, which the previous prosecutor had announced a formal investigation into at the end of 2020, are not limited to the 2014 war but also include settlements, killings, detentions, torture, and more. Any one of these cases, compared to other cases the court has investigated in other countries, could lead to arrest warrants against officials in previous and current governments, including the Prime Minister.
Khan’s emphasis on the war crimes of 2014 and specifically mentioning them aims to mislead the public and distract them. What about other crimes, including the ongoing settlement crime, which has turned the occupation into a colonization threatening the existence of Palestinians? Why didn’t he mention them in his press conference?
The shameful behaviour of Karim Khan in dealing with the cases presented to him, related to crimes committed in Palestine compared to other cases, notably Ukraine, has inflicted irreparable harm to the impartiality of the International Criminal Court in the short and long term. It has also caused severe damage to the Palestinians, as Israeli officials feel, under Khan, that they are beyond any pursuit or accountability.