The Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI) has accused the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza.

The complaint was filed by the GIPRI against the EC head at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on May 22.

The announcement, supported by various human rights groups and prominent scholars and experts in international criminal law, urges the ICC Prosecutor to initiate investigations based on the information provided against von der Leyen.

Complicity in War Crimes

The complaint reads: “Reasonable grounds exist to believe that the unconditional support of the President of the European Commission to Israel – military, economic, diplomatic and political – has enabled war crimes and the ongoing genocide in Gaza”

Support for Israel

According to the complaint, the President of the European Commission has become complicit through a series of actions and omissions. “Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen has become complicit in violations of articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute through a range of positive acts as well as omissions, in her official capacity as president of the European Commission. Positive acts include the following:

− Military support to Israel: Mrs. von der Leyen, in her official capacity as president of the European Commission, has been instrumental in securing the provision of means, under the form of military support, to the IDF. During the period 2019-23, Israel has been the 3rd main recipient of weapons provided by an EU Member State, Germany, itself the 5th largest exporter of major arms in the world.

− Economic and financial support to Israel: both by refusing to take any steps toward the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and by promoting, amidst the current Israeli assault on Gaza, new EU-Israel cooperation instruments.”

The accusation also highlights that von der Leyen was and is aware of the ongoing situation in Gaza, recognizing that it constitutes a violation of international law. Despite this awareness, she has not taken any steps to prevent these actions, despite having the capability to do so, as demonstrated by her stance on the war in Ukraine and the international law violations occurring there.