The Jerusalem Post
Bensouda steps down today; successor, Karim Khan, to decide Israel’s ICC fate
International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will step down on Wednesday after a nine-year term. She will be succeeded by British-Muslim international lawyer Karim Khan, who will be left to determine Israel’s fate in the criminal probe that Bensouda opened in March.
Bensouda’s decision to open a full war-crimes investigation against Israel relating to the 2014 Gaza War, the settlement enterprise and the 2018 Gaza border conflict came after a legal battle dating back to January 2015.
The outgoing chief prosecutor also threatened Israel and
Hamas with new war-crimes charges during the May 10-21 conflict.
Still, Bensouda has strongly hinted that her office might close the probe against the IDF as the Israeli military performs its own investigations of alleged war crimes.
However, Israeli lawyers are much more concerned that her office will go after the settlement enterprise.
Views on Karim Khan are mixed. He has been associated with Muslim human-rights groups and Pakistani officials, which would prejudice him against Israel. But he has also said the ICC is overextended and should only fight battles it can win and for which it has the resources to fight.
Khan has defended alleged war criminals from Kenya and has represented victims of ISIS.
Bensouda herself is a Gambian Muslim who sometimes wears traditional African dress. But she is equally comfortable in a business suit.
During a Jerusalem Post interview in The Hague in 2016, all indications were that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not a major issue for her.
Though she ruled against Israel in March by opening a full war-crimes probe, she appeared to be acting as part of a group of internationalists who focus on getting justice for civilians