scene of massacre in Kibbutz Be'eri
scene of massacre in Kibbutz Be'eriOmer Fichman/Flash90

Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin Law Center has filed a complaint ("communication") with the International Criminal Court’ Chief Prosecutor, urging him to carry out a criminal investigation against the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who planned and executed the brutal massacre in Israeli villages and towns on Oct. 7, 2023. Shurat HaDin also demands the Prosecutor to urgently issue international arrest warrants against the terror organization's leaders.

"On the morning of Oct. 7, 2023, as Jewish Israelis were celebrating the holiday of Simchat Torah and the Sabbath, thousands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists crossed the Gaza Strip border into Israel and carried out a savage and brutal attack against Israeli villages, civilians and military bases. Thousands of rockets were also fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli cities, causing further casualties and destruction. The carnage in the villages was unprecedented: upon reaching the towns and villages, the armed invaders moved from house to house and opened fire on men, women, children, and elderly people hiding in their rooms and their beds. They raped women and beheaded corpses. In many cases, the terrorists set the civilian houses on fire, compelling residents to escape the flames and then shooting to death or kidnapping the fleeing civilians. The terrorists spared no one, including medical personnel and the injured civilians they were treating. The armed invaders continued their massacre by mass pillage and destruction of civilian property in these villages," the Shurat HaDin organization stated.

"The horrific attack – which is still ongoing - has so far claimed the lives of more than 700 individuals, most of whom were civilian men, women, babies, children, and elderly people. More than 2,400 Israelis have been injured, many of whom sustained life-threatening injuries, and more than 150 people have been kidnapped into the Gaza Strip – amongst them infants and children.

In 2021, the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC announced the opening of a criminal investigation regarding "the situation in Palestine''. Shurat HaDin now blames Hamas and Islamic Jihad for committing grave War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity during the "Sukkot Massacre", attributing the terror organizations more than 26 different counts of violations of the "Rome Statute'' – the constitution of the ICC. According to the Shurat HaDin complaint, among the crimes perpetrated are the crimes of Murder, Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, Torture, Willfully causing great suffering, Pillage, Committing outrages upon personal dignity, and many more crimes which were all perpetrated in large-scale and in complete violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Shurat HaDin demands that the Chief Prosecutor issue arrest warrants against the terror organizations’ leaders, claiming that "crimes committed by the accused in the present attack are of the same nature of the crimes already perpetrated by them in many other incidents… but in a (dramatically) larger scale".

"Oct. 7 2023 is now our 9/11" said Nitsana Darshan Leitner, founder and president of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, "since the Holocaust, we have not seen such a terrible carnage against Jews. Entire communities were lost. Men, women, and children butchered in their beds. Women were raped, and bodies were beheaded. Children witnessed their parents slaughtered and then kidnapped into Gaza, where they are now tortured and harassed. It is so devastating and heartbreaking, but most of all – it proves to the world what monsters and predators we are fighting against".

"The ICC itself bears responsibility for the carnage. From the beginning, it has acted prejudicially and proved completely biased against Israel", continues Darshan Leitner, adding that "since 2014 Shurat HaDin has filed numerous complaints to the ICC prosecutor. All were ignored. Only anti-Israel complaints got any attention. When we asked for a meeting with the Prosecutor's Office to discuss the complaints, not only were we ignored, but they continued to meet with pro-Palestinian organizations and even Palestinian leaders who were the subject of our criminal complaints. If the ICC ignores this massacre, it has no right to exist."