ICC Closes File on Mavi Marmara

YERUSHALAYIM -
ICC, Mavi Marmara
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The case of the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla ceased to be an active legal issue on Thursday as the International Criminal Court Prosecutor closed the file on allegations that Israel was guilty of war crimes in the seizure of the blockade runner, in which 10 Turkish activists were killed.

Earlier in the year, Turkey and Israel normalized diplomatic relations, and with the ICC threat now averted, a tense and difficult chapter in Mideast history draws to a close.

The case had been the subject of a series of contentious rulings within the ICC since 2010, with officials divided over whether there was evidence to prosecute Israel.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had kept the case open only reluctantly, at the behest of the ICC Appeals Chamber which insisted that she re-examine the evidence in November 2015 after she sought to close the case then.

Bensouda concluded that “there was no reasonable basis to believe that the identified crimes were committed on a large-scale or as part of a plan or policy,” such as justify any further ICC action in the case.