Karim Ahmad Khan, a prosecutor with the International Criminal Court (ICC), voiced grave concerns Monday over the recent hostage rescue operation in Rafah and declarations by Israeli officials of their intention to launch a larger offensive in the city.
Israeli media reported that significant fire support was used during the rescue operation. Palestinian media reported that numerous civilians had been killed as a result.
Khan warned that such actions could violate the Rome Statute, allowing the ICC to exercise its criminal jurisdiction against those responsible. Such a step is permitted when the national jurisdiction responsible fails, or when one of the member states is unwilling or unable to carry out its own investigation.
“I am deeply concerned by the reported bombardment and potential ground incursion by Israeli forces in Rafah,” Khan stated in a tweet. “To all those involved: my Office is actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed. Those who are in breach of the law will be held accountable.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced similar concerns on Monday: “Israelis on October 7th were dehumanized, hostages continue to be dehumanized, but that cannot be a license to dehumanize others.”