There will be no ICC investigation into the 2010 Israeli raid on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced as she concluded her Office’s preliminary examination of the situation referred by the Union of Comoros.
The prosecutor stated that “[f]ollowing a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defense Forces intercepted the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla’’ on 31 May 2010. However, after carefully assessing all relevant considerations, I have concluded that the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of “sufficient gravity” to justify further action by the ICC. The gravity requirement is an explicit legal criteria set by the Rome Statute”
The prosecutor therefore “concluded that the legal requirements under the Rome Statute to open an investigation have not been met and I am announcing that the preliminary examination has been closed.” She also stated that the Union of the Comoros “has the right to request the Judges of the ICC to review my decision not to proceed to open an investigation, pursuant to article 53(3)(a) of the Statute.”
Preliminary examinations are carried out by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a full investigation. The OTP is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria and Ukraine.