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Justice For All Submits Evidence to the ICC on the Targeting of Yarmouk Mosque and Destruction of Gaza’s Infrastructure as War Crimes

Justice For All, a leading human rights organization dedicated to advocating for vulnerable populations globally, has submitted critical evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the destruction of infrastructure in Gaza, classifying it as a war crime under the Rome Statute. This submission addresses the deliberate targeting and destruction of significant cultural and religious sites by Israeli forces.

On October 8, 2023, an Israeli airstrike hit and destroyed the Yarmouk Mosque in Gaza, injuring 12 people, including a baby. The Yarmouk Mosque was not just a place of worship but also a historic site and community hub, hosting gatherings, social activities, and Quranic memorization sessions. The destruction of this mosque represents a severe blow to the cultural heritage and communal life of Palestinians in Gaza.

The deliberate targeting of the Yarmouk Mosque is a grave violation of international law. The Rome Statute explicitly prohibits intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, which are not military objectives. Moreover, launching such an attack with the knowledge that it will cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury, or damage to civilian objects or the environment is criminalized. The bombing of the Yarmouk Mosque also contravenes provisions against attacking undefended buildings and those dedicated to religion, education, art, science, or charitable purposes.

The destruction of the Yarmouk Mosque, a significant landmark serving as a religious, cultural, and social center, has had devastating effects on the local community. According to reports, the airstrike not only obliterated the mosque but also caused extensive damage to the surrounding area, affecting water lines, infrastructure, and residential buildings. Many homes in the vicinity are now uninhabitable, and local residents, such as Hajj Jihad Jarour, have lost their livelihoods due to the destruction.

This attack is not an isolated incident but part of a broader pattern of aggression by Israeli forces against cultural and religious institutions in Gaza. Such actions aim to erase cultural heritage and disrupt the social fabric of Palestinian society.

The targeted nature of these attacks demonstrates a clear intention to inflict damage upon civilian objects, contravening the principles of international humanitarian law. The disproportionate nature of the destruction and its long-term impacts on civilian life and the environment further substantiate these violations.

In light of the evidence presented, Justice For All respectfully requests that the ICC recognize the destruction of infrastructure, including the Yarmouk Mosque, as constituting war crimes under the Rome Statute. We urge the Court to initiate appropriate legal proceedings against those responsible for these egregious acts, including Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other senior military officials, to ensure accountability and justice for the victims.

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