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UK: Five ministers included in Gaza war crimes complaint submitted to police

A 60-page complaint by legal advocacy group ICJP accuses Israel of using 'starvation as a weapon of war’ and 'wilfully causing great suffering'
Five senior ministers have been accused of complicity in the prosecution of war crimes in Gaza (AFP/Daniel Leal)
Five senior ministers have been accused of complicity in the prosecution of war crimes in Gaza (AFP/Daniel Leal)

The International Centre for Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) submitted a new complaint to British police on Wednesday, accusing Israel of using "starvation as a weapon of war" and "wilfully causing great suffering to a civilian population".

Echoing the reasoning laid out by International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday, the London-based advocacy group highlighted that both accusations were criminal offences under British and international law.

The filings by the ICJP this week follow an earlier complaint in January against senior UK politicians, including ministers, alleging their complicity in war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Four senior ministers were included in that complaint and the new accusations include the addition of another, totalling five.

The organisation says that Wednesday's complaint is one of the most comprehensive submitted to Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan police, regarding Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

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At 60 pages long, it also contains an 800-page annex containing evidence including expert reports, eyewitness testimonies and reports by medical staff who have worked in Gaza.

The complaint was compiled by the ICJP teams, which include former British police officers who were collecting evidence to UK police standards.

Scotland Yard's War Crimes Investigation Team will now consider the evidence contained within the complaint.

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"We intend to ensure that allegations of war crimes against suspected Israeli war criminals and those who enable them are prosecuted, whether that be at the ICC, in the UK or across the globe," said ICJP director Tayab Ali.

"We will ensure that there will be no place for suspected war criminals to hide, especially not the UK."

On Monday, ICC prosecutors announced their application for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three leaders of Hamas.

Britain's Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell accused the ICC of making "unworthy and ludicrous" comparisons by issuing arrest warrants for Hamas and Israeli leaders together.

"We do not believe the ICC prosecutor seeking warrants will help with a ceasefire. As we have said from the outset, we do not think the ICC has jurisdiction in this case."

Israel's war on Gaza has drawn widespread condemnation and is the subject of an ongoing genocide case at the International Court of Justice.

More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since October, the vast majority of them women and children.

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