Photo Credit: Herzl Shapira/Flash 90
The Mavi Marmara

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has once again refused to launch an investigation into the IDF’s takeover of the Mavi Marmara ship, the latest phase in an ongoing campaign to charge Israel with war crimes at the ICC.

In 2010, the Israeli navy intercepted the Turkish Mavi Marmara as it attempted to violate the Israeli-imposed military blockade on the Gaza Strip. Passengers onboard ambushed the IDF soldiers with knives and metal rods. In the ensuing scuffle, 10 Turks were killed and several soldiers were seriously wounded.


The ship was ostensibly on its way to deliver humanitarian aid and medical supplies, but the only humanitarian aid found on board was boxes of expired medications. The ship’s real mission was to challenge Israel’s sovereignty.

Chief ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wrote in her Monday decision that “because there is no potential case arising from this situation that is sufficiently grave, to reconsider a case that she had repeatedly sought to close due to lack of gravity.”

This is the third time the ICC has turned down a request to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes committed during the Mavi Marmara incident.

The Union of Comoros, an Arab League state that does not recognize Israel, called on the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes in May 2013, and legal proceedings and repeated attempts to reopen the case have since followed.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.