ICC prosecutor appeals request to re-open Gaza flotilla case

The International Criminal Court logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has appealed a decision by a panel of judges to re-open an investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

The incident left nine Turkish militants dead after they had attacked Israeli commandos on a vessel that tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza. In her appeal, Bensouda said the judges did not consider “the unique context of violent resistance abroad the Mavi Marmara.”

Earlier this month, in a 2-1 ruling, a panel of ICC judges granted a request by the Comoros Islands to reconsider the case after the discovery of “material errors in the prosecutor’s assessment” of the matter. 

In November 2014, Bensouda concluded that the Mavi Marmara incident did not have “sufficient gravity” to be investigated by the ICC despite a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes” were committed by Israel. As such, many considered the case to be closed until the recent judicial order to re-open it. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry welcomed Bensouda’s decision to appeal, saying the ICC “never had any business to deal with this event to begin with.”

“Israel acted out of self-defense according to international law,” the Foreign Ministry added.

Posted on July 27, 2015 .