Qatar calls for international probe into ‘Israeli crimes’ in Gaza

Qatar’s prime minister says the country will continue efforts towards facilitating another truce and reaching a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Aftermath of Israeli strike on Jabalia refugee camp
The aftermath of an Israeli strike on Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Qatar’s prime minister has said his country is calling for an “immediate, comprehensive and impartial international investigation” into what he called Israeli crimes in Gaza.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani also told Al Jazeera on Sunday that Qatar would continue its efforts towards facilitating another truce and reaching a permanent ceasefire in the besieged enclave.

A week-long Israel-Hamas truce – brokered by Qatar with the support of Egypt and the United States – led to the release of 80 Israeli captives in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

The truce ended on Friday, with both sides trading accusations of violating the conditions of the deal.

The prospect of a further truce in Gaza appeared bleak on Saturday after Israel pulled its Mossad negotiators from Qatar, while Hamas’s deputy leader told Al Jazeera it will not hold further talks on the swap of Israeli captives for imprisoned Palestinians.

Since Friday, Israel has intensified its attacks on Gaza, with a government media official telling Al Jazeera that 700 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks during the last 24 hours.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 15,523 Palestinians have died in the enclave since the war began on October 7 – more than 70 percent of them women and children.

ICC to ramp up war crimes probe

Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, called on Israel and Hamas to abide by international law, saying his office will ramp up investigations into potential war crimes.

“All actors must comply with international humanitarian law. If you do not do so, do not complain when my office is required to act,” Khan said on Sunday as he wrapped up his four-day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Khan stressed his visit was “not investigative in nature” but said he was able to speak to victims on both sides of the conflict.

“Credible allegations of crimes during the current conflict should be the subject of timely, independent examination and investigation,” he said.

Set up in 2002, the ICC is the world’s only independent court set up to probe the gravest offences including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It opened an investigation in 2021 into Israel as well as Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups for possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories.

Khan also called for humanitarian aid to immediately be let into Gaza, adding that Hamas must not misuse such aid.

“On humanitarian access, the law does not allow for doubt,” he said. “Civilians must have access to basic food, water and desperately needed medical supplies, without further delay, and at pace and at scale.”

He previously said that blocking the delivery of aid to Gaza could also constitute a war crime under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, has previously rejected the court’s jurisdiction and does not formally engage with it.

Source: Al Jazeera