Russian actions in Ukraine to pave way for Gaza war crimes case in ICC

Russian actions in Ukraine to pave way for Gaza war crimes case in ICC

The National reports:

Allegations that Russia committed a war crime by attacking Ukraine’s water and food supplies could lead the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hear its first starvation case, the lawyer leading the investigation told The National.

Catriona Murdoch, a legal consultant to Global Rights Compliance which is examining Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, said the situation in the country had been mirrored in Gaza, where the ICC could also pass judgment on Israel’s tactics in the enclave, which is facing famine.

Since Hamas launched its October 7 attack on Israel, more than 32,300 Palestinians have been killed. A quarter of Gaza’s population is starving, the UN warned.

Aid groups say it is nearly impossible to deliver aid to much of Gaza because of Israeli restrictions, continued fighting and the breakdown of law and order.

“The plan by Russian forces, as far as we can see, is that there were three phases: the encirclement, then the attacks on critical infrastructure, and simultaneously going into the third phase of withholding aid, withholding evacuation and the start of the filtration process,” Ms Murdoch said.

“The patterns appear similar in Gaza. You have encirclement and siege, you have attack on critical infrastructure, you have attack on shelter, and you have the withholding of aid and display the forcible displacement of people. These are the typical elements of a starvation case.

“The crime itself talks about the destruction, deprivation or rendering useless of anything essential to survive, which is context specific. What a Gazan mother will need in summer is different to what an elderly Ukrainian man will need in Mariupol in winter, but it is anything that’s essential to survival and we are certainly seeing those essential items being destroyed and deprived.

“The other component is the withholding of aid. We are seeing that on a really significant level in Gaza.” [Continue reading…]

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