Ammar Al-Dwaik, director-general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), established by Yasser Arafat in 1993, on Saturday told Reuters that “as Palestinian human rights organizations, we decided not to meet him,” referring to Karim Ahmad Khan who has served as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague since 2021.
The ICC announced last Thursday that Khan “is visiting Israel at the request and invitation of survivors and the families of victims of the 7 October attacks.”
The Hague court said the visit was “not investigative in nature,” but “represents an important opportunity to express sympathy for all victims and engage in dialogue.”
The ICC also said that the chief prosecutor would “visit Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and meet with senior Palestinian officials.”
But PA-based human rights groups refused to meet with Khan on Saturday, and accused him of “favoring Israeli accusations of rights abuses over longstanding Palestinian charges.”
“I think the way this visit has been handled shows that Mr Khan is not handling his work in an independent and professional manner,” Al-Dwaik stated.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor is an independent, nonprofit organization for the protection of human rights, established by Gaza-born resident of Geneva, Switzerland Ramy Abdu, which accused the ICC prosecutor of “clear double standards” for not taking “a practical action” on “developments in occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza.”
“In light of the extraordinarily high level of documentation — unparalleled in history — of the Israeli wars on Gaza, which fit the definition of a genocide in the making under international law, Khan’s selective vision is a shameful affront to justice,” Abdu’s group stated on Sunday.
Khan was scheduled to meet lawyers for the families’ group, in addition to meeting members of the families themselves. On Saturday, Khan also met Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. According to WAFA, Abbas urged Karim to “investigate Israeli operations in Gaza as well as the occupied West Bank.”
Karim Khan, 53, a British attorney specializing in international criminal law and international human rights law, began his law career as a Crown Prosecutor and was made senior crown prosecutor in 1995. He has worked for the ICC since 1997 and was elected chief prosecutor in February 2021.
After October 7, Khan suggested that both Israel and Hamas could be prosecuted by the ICC. He also said that the bar for evidence that a hospital, school, or place of worship is being used for military purposes is very high. And on November 17, he stated the ICC had received a joint request from South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes.
And he is considered to have a pro-Israel bias!