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Karim Khan’s Free Pass to Israel Proves ICC is Tool of Washington and London

It’s important to understand exactly what has transpired here. Recall how in the opening week’s of Israel industrial-scale massacre of the Palestinian population in Gaza, Karim Khan (pictured above), the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), personally deployed to the Egypt-Rafah border crossing, publicly promising to collect evidence and open an investigation into what were undeniably war crimes and crimes against humanity at the hads of the Israel government and its military organs. Surprisingly, nothing ever came of it, as Khan quickly went mute on the issue. 

Now contrast this with Khan’s several official statements expressing his “concern” over the events unfolding in Ukraine in the spring of 2022, where he summarily invited ICC member states to refer Russian persons of interest to his prosecutors office in order to “further expedite matters”, as Europe and the U.S. all demanded that The Hague take action and issue a wave indictments against Russian officials.

So, according to the actions of Khan and the vaunted ICC, the same principles of human rights and international law do not apply to both conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

Tom Coburg from Declassified UK reports…


The International Criminal Court has done nothing so far to prosecute Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. Is it influenced by the UK’s funding of the ICC, Khan being the UK’s government’s placeman or by US threats to prosecute its officials?
Now the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel is “plausibly” promoting genocide in Gaza, the International Criminal Court might be expected to expedite its prosecution of the individuals responsible.

Israel’s war crimes and incitements to genocide in Gaza are being documented by independent legal groups.

The ICC itself, which is based in The Hague, has stated that, amid sustained attacks by Israel on Gaza, its investigation into the State of Palestine Situation is “ongoing”.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan added that this “extends to the escalation of hostilities and violence since the attacks that took place on 7 October 2023” – when Hamas attacked Israel.

But nearly four months after this statement last November, no arrest warrants have been issued or, apparently, other actions taken by the ICC.

It was perhaps no surprise, therefore, that in December a number of Palestinian human rights groups refused to meet with Khan, who was on a visit to the region. They accused him of bias in favour of Israel.


Could Khan’s apparent slowness in taking forward cases against Israel be explained by not wanting to bite the hand that feeds his office?

The UK government has been one of the largest financial contributors to the court. It has provided the organisation with £10.5m to its latest annual budget and a further £2m since the commencement of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

The ICC’s overall budget for this year is around £160m.

Khan has a family connection to the UK Conservative Party via his brother Imran Ahmad Khan, an MP who in 2022 was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15 year old boy. He was subsequently expelled from the party and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

ICC changes

A few months after his appointment, in November 2021, Khan announced to the United Nations Security Council that he intended to limit the ICC’s investigations to those referred to his office by that Council, whose permanent members include the UK and US.

Investigations that were not referred in this way would be placed under review. These included those into Afghanistan and Palestine that were conducted by his predecessor, Fatou Bensouda.

Why did Khan initiate these major changes to how the ICC works? The answer may lie with the UK and the United States.

A few years earlier, in December 2017 Bensouda announced that: “The [prosecutor’s] office has reached the conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the UK armed forces committed war crimes within the jurisdiction of the court against persons in their custody.”

The accusation referred to the conduct of the UK military in Iraq and would undoubtedly have displeased UK authorities.

US war crimes

Although the US (and Israel) is not a member of the ICC, Afghanistan ratified the Rome Statute that underpins the Court. So in 2016 the ICC commenced an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US military in Afghanistan.

Bensouda found that: “War crimes of torture and related ill-treatment, by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014”.

That would have displeased US authorities.

Subsequently, in 2018 Washington issued a threat to arrest ICC judges should they attempt to charge US army personnel for war crimes.

Moreover, National Security advisor John Bolton warned that the US would ban “its [ICC] judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system.”

Undaunted, in December 2019 Bensouda announced she was satisfied that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”.

No doubt the US was concerned that Bensouda’s investigations could see its ally Israel facing prosecutions.

So it was that in September 2020 the US applied sanctions against Bensouda and her colleagues. The US also revoked her visas and visas for other senior ICC individuals.

But in January 2021, with Bensouda’s imminent departure from the post, US president Joe Biden announced that Washington would review its earlier decision to impose sanctions on the Court’s officials.

The following month Khan was appointed ICC prosecutor, and took up the role in June 2021 when Bensouda left…

Continue this story at Declassified UK







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