International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda [official websites] confirmed Thursday that her office will not investigate [press release] a 2010 Israeli attack against a Gaza bound Turkish flotilla.
After a presentation of new facts and information, Bensouda concluded that there was not “sufficient gravity” to support a legal action under the Rome statute [text].
In particular, on the basis of the information available, there was no reasonable basis to believe that the identified crimes were committed on a large-scale or as part of a plan or policy. Nor did my Office err in assessing the nature or impact of the identified crimes, or in its approach to allegations of other misconduct on Israeli territory, beyond the jurisdiction of this Court.
Bensouda said that while she understands the emotional toll these crimes had on victims and their families, her conclusion is based solely on a legal analysis of the Rome statute.
These issues stem from an attack on pro-Palestinian Turkish groups by Israeli forces in 2010. Merely 80 miles from the Israeli coast, six ships were boarded by activists to deliver aid to Palestine. This required the ships to break the Israeli naval blockade, which became effective due to fears of terrorist attacks and other threats. Israel believed that the activists proceeding towards Palestine were associated with terrorist groups posing a threat to their country. As a result, an Israeli commandos landed on one ship causing open fire and eventual death to nine Turkish Activists. An Israeli inquiry found that these actions were legal and Bensouda previously found under the grounded principles of the ICC that no action could be taken against Israel in 2014 [text, PDF].