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Netanyahu Condemns ICC Arrest Warrants, Calls Prosecutor an “Antisemite”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fiercely criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, sought arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In an impassioned video statement, Netanyahu described the move as “a moral outrage of historic proportions,” asserting that Israel is engaged in a just war against Hamas, which he labeled “a genocidal terrorist organization.”

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Watch the statement here:https://www.icc-cpi.int/news/statement-icc-prosecutor-karim-aa-khan-kc-applications-arrest-warrants-situation-state#

Netanyahu’s condemnation extended to a personal attack on Khan, whom he accused of being “one of the great antisemites in modern times.” Drawing stark historical parallels, the Prime Minister likened Khan to Nazi judges who enabled the Holocaust, accusing him of “callously pouring gasoline on the fires of antisemitism that are raging around the world.”

ICC’s Karim Khan

The video message, delivered in English, was aimed at an international audience, particularly in the United States. Defence Minister Gallant echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments, calling the ICC’s actions “disgraceful” and an attempt to interfere in Israel’s war efforts. He denounced the comparison between Hamas and the State of Israel as “despicable and disgusting,” reaffirming Israel’s non-recognition of the ICC’s authority.

The ICC’s statement, meticulously articulated by Khan, accuses leaders from both Hamas and Israel of committing severe violations of international law. Khan emphasized the need for accountability across all parties involved, rejecting selective application of the law. “No foot soldier, no commander, no civilian leader – no one – can act with impunity,” Khan stated.

The decision to hold both sides accountable has sparked widespread anger, not only in Israel but also in the United States. President Joe Biden denounced the arrest warrants as “outrageous,” maintaining that there is “no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas.”

Israel’s Netanyahu and Gallant have blasted the warrants terming them despicable

Hamas, on its part, demanded the withdrawal of allegations against its leaders, accusing the ICC of equating victims with perpetrators. It criticized the timing of the warrants as belated, coming months after numerous alleged crimes by Israeli forces.

Khan’s statement positions the conflict within the broader context of “an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a non-international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.” The ICC’s jurisdiction stems from Palestine’s observer status at the United Nations, which enabled it to join the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the court.

Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar together with two others have been named in the statement by Khan

Netanyahu has unequivocally stated that Palestinians will never achieve independence during his tenure, further intensifying the geopolitical and legal complexities surrounding the conflict.

As the international community reacts to the ICC’s unprecedented move, the debate over accountability and justice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to escalate.

The United States, Israel, Russia and China are not signatories to the statute.

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