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Published online by Cambridge University Press:
21 April 2022
In the recent conflicts there have been a number of controversial issues involving the laws of war including the issue of targeted killing, civilian casualties and the blockade of Gaza. In addition to the public relations aspect, international criminal law is increasingly relevant. In accordance with the principal of universal jurisdiction, any country can prosecute a suspected war criminal even if there is no nexus between the offence and the State concerned. This principle has been used in attempts to bring charges against Israeli politicians and military commanders in a number of European States. To date no prosecutions have taken place and the judicial authorities have tended to see these attempts as a political abuse of legal proceedings. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to try war criminals, if the State involved is unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute the case. Palestine has claimed that Israel committed war crimes in the territory of Palestine and thus the Court has jurisdiction. Israel disputes the claim and the jurisdiction of the Court. The issue has not yet been resolved.