According to lawyers, the court's decision confirms that Israel has a 'special status' in regards to international law.
|Photo by Alkan Boudewijn de Beaumont Chaglar.|
International Criminal Court (ICC) lawyers believe that Israel is guilty of “war crimes” for the raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza in 2010 that killed nine Turkish activists. However, they have also decided that the case does not meet their criteria for prosecution, according to court papers seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
On May 31, 2010, the Israeli military forcefully boarded six civilian ships from the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” that were traveling from Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid and construction materials to the besieged region. The army boarded the ships in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea.
The activists on board say they did not put up a fight, however the Israeli army insists that they were met with resistance – which led to several activists being killed, including eight Turkish nationals and an American of Turkish origin on the Mavi Marmara boat.
The ICC does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed in either Turkey, where most the boats were registered, or Israel, since neither are members of the ICC. However, the Mavi Marmara was registered to the Comoros Islands, which is a member, making the crimes on board eligible for ICC investigation.
"The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the Court's jurisdiction have been committed in the context of interception and takeover of the Mavi Marmara by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers on 31 May 2010," read the papers.
But the papers also added that prosecutors had decided the crimes “were not of sufficient gravity to fall under the court's jurisdiction,” reported Reuters. Their evidence and criteria for making this decision however, remained vague.