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Complaint filed at ICC against Israeli siege on Gaza

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki going to submit a file to the ICC in 2015

Palestinian and international rights groups filed a complaint against the Israeli siege on Gaza to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, announced yesterday.

In a press conference held in Gaza, Sourani said: "In addition to the human rights groups, local and international lawyers, experts and academics took part in preparing the complaint."

He called for the ICC to move from the first to the second stage regarding the investigation into Israeli crimes in relation to the ten-year siege on the Gaza Strip, calling it a "crime against humanity".

Meanwhile, he said that other complaints relating to illegal Israeli settlements and violations represented by Palestinian rights groups before the Israeli judiciary would follow.

Sourani accused Israel of "turning the Gaza Strip into the largest open prison in the world and a place where a manmade disaster including all sides of life is being committed," stressing that the siege is a "crime against humanity and an oppressive crime" based on the Rome Statute.

Director of Al-Mizan for Human Rights Issam Younis said: "The aim of this complaint is to achieve justice and to remind the world of the suffering of the Gaza residents in order to guarantee no repetition of Israeli crimes."

He hoped that this complaint would prevent the reoccurrence of oppressing civilians, damaging properties and destroying Palestinian homes, hospitals and schools.

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