ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan
ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim KhanREUTERS/Michael Kooren

The Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hussein Al-Sheikh, on Thursday called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to expedite examining the files referred to the court regarding Israel's alleged crimes against Palestinian Arabs, Middle East Monitor reported.

"We call on Mr. Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the ICC, to expedite the decision on the files referred to the court for the crimes of the occupation and its settlers against the Palestinian people. Further procrastination, double standards and stalling in international institutions and subordination to the political will of superpowers are no longer acceptable," Al-Sheikh wrote.

"Our people are being subjected to murder, demolishing homes, burning them, uprooting and burning their fields in full view of the whole world. Do not narrow the options before our people. The time has come to confront a racist right-wing government that allows everything without international deterrence," he added.

Khan, a British lawyer, was sworn in as the ICC’s chief prosecutor in June of 2021, taking over from Fatou Bensouda.

Bensouda had announced in late 2019 that she intends to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes”, but before opening a full probe, asked the ICC to rule on the territory over which it has jurisdiction because of the "unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation."

She subsequently ruled that “Palestine” is a state and the ICC has jurisdiction involving its cases.

Khan’s election as Bensouda’s successor in February of 2021 came exactly one week after the ICC ruled that Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem are within its jurisdiction, paving the way for a probe.

Khan has yet to taken any public action on the probe, but in December he said that he has a "goal" to make "a visit to Palestine" in 2023.