Multiple countries have urged the International Criminal Court to investigate West Jerusalem’s violence against civilians
Washington has seen no evidence that Israel deliberately committed war crimes in Gaza, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.
Asked about Mexico and Chile’s call for the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity allegedly committed by West Jerusalem against Palestinians, Kirby claimed the US was “still gathering more information about what this would entail.”
“I want to say again, that we don’t have any indications that there’s deliberate efforts to commit war crimes by the [Israeli military],” he said.
The Israel Defense Forces have killed nearly 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza since declaring war on Hamas on October 7, according to the enclave’s health authorities. Another 60,000 have reportedly been seriously injured, while tens of thousands more are missing beneath the rubble of entire neighborhoods leveled by Israeli bombardment.
While the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted it does not deliberately inflict civilian casualties, the country’s military and intelligence sources have acknowledged deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure for psychological effect in interviews with Israeli outlet Local Call/+972 Magazine.
Kirby made his remarks on Thursday shortly after acknowledging the White House was “seriously concerned” about reports the Israel Defense Forces had deliberately killed a Palestinian-American teenager in the occupied West Bank town of al-Mazra’a al-Sharqiyah.
While Israel has only declared war on Hamas, which governs Gaza but not the West Bank, some 370 Palestinians have been killed in the latter territory since the war began, nearly 100 of them minors. IDF troops detained another 85 Palestinians in the West Bank on Wednesday, adding to the total of nearly 6,000 inhabitants of the region to be locked up since October 7.
Mexico’s foreign ministry on Thursday petitioned the ICC to investigate Israel “due to the growing concern over the latest escalation of violence, particularly against civilian targets,” citing “numerous reports from the United Nations that detail many incidents that could constitute crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction.”
Chilean Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren added in a news conference the same day that Santiago supported “the investigation of any possible war crime… whether they are war crimes committed by Israelis or by Palestinians.”
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry praised both countries for coming forward in a statement on Friday, declaring their words affirmed “the urgent need for the Court to fulfill its mandate, to deter, investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes of concern for the international community.”
Last month, South Africa accused Israel of committing “genocidal acts” against the Palestinians in Gaza in a filing with the International Court of Justice. Israeli President Isaac Herzog has vehemently dismissed the genocide accusations, calling them “atrocious and preposterous.”
Israel vowed to continue the war until Hamas is completely destroyed and all hostages captured by the Palestinian militants are freed. There are still an estimated 132 people being held captive in Gaza, following the October 7 Hamas attack which left some 1,200 people dead in Israel.