The Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Husam Zomlot, has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to act “immediately and responsibly” to investigate the war crimes committed against the Palestinians, reports Anadolu.
Speaking at a media conference in London regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Ambassador Zomlot said the health sector in one of the most densely populated areas in the world is “absolutely collapsing”. He said that this war is not a war against Hamas, but against the Palestinian people.
He stressed that the bombing of civilian infrastructure, schools, medical centers, homes and markets, as well as cutting off access to water, food, fuel, electricity and medicine in Gaza has already taken a terrible toll.
Zomlot also expressed his concern about the possibility of expanding the war in the region.
In response to the question from Anadolu about the recent comments of the Israeli ambassador in London that “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza”, Zomlot said that when 1 million people are asked to leave their homes, without electricity, food, medicine, “doesn’t is this a humanitarian crisis?”.
“When rockets and bombs are literally falling on their heads, families are hiding, isn’t this a humanitarian crisis?”, he said.
The Palestinian ambassador emphasized that he is “completely disappointed” by the media coverage of the conflict.
“Terminology is crucial,” he said, adding that Israel from the beginning wanted “to connect the Palestinian people with Hamas and then Hamas with Daesh.”
“This connection is to justify the war and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians,” he added.
In response to another question from Anadolu regarding the use of white phosphorus in Gaza, which has been verified by ‘Amnesty International’, Zomlot said that the disproportionate use of deadly bombs is a “war crime”.
Recalling that Palestine has acceded to the Rome Statute, Ambassador Zomlot emphasized that Palestine also gave the ICC a full mandate many years ago to investigate war crimes in the occupied territory of Palestine from all sides.
The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC.
“This is the time for Karim Khan (ICC prosecutor) and the ICC to investigate the white phosphorus and the crimes committed by all sides and we will accept full responsibility,” he said.
Zomlot also said that international actors, including the US and the UK, should “stop blocking the ICC” from doing its work.
Eleven days into the conflict with the Palestinian group Hamas, Israel’s bombing and blockade of the Gaza Strip has continued, with over 1 million people displaced, almost half of Gaza’s total population.
The fighting began when Hamas on October 7 launched Operation Aqsa Storm, a multi-dimensional surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air. The group said the attack was in retaliation for the attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque and increased violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
The Israeli army then launched an operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended to cutting off water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening living conditions in an area that has been under siege since 2007.
According to official data from Gaza, about 3,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, while the death toll from Israeli attacks in the West Bank has reached 60.
Also at least 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing armed conflict.
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