‘Blood libels’: Netanyahu rages against ICC prosecutor

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‘Blood libels’: Netanyahu rages against ICC prosecutor

U.S. President Joe Biden also lashed out at the ICC prosecutor: 'Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.'

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raged against the International Criminal Court prosecutor on Monday after it was announced that an arrest warrant against him had been requested. 

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan announced his intentions to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Defence Minister Gallant and Hamas’ leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ishmail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Deif.

The charges against Hamas’ leaders include extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault in detention,” while those against Netanyahu and Gallant extermination, causing starvation as a method of war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict.

“The outrageous decision by the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, to seek arrest warrants against the democratically elected leaders of Israel is a moral outrage of historic proportions. It will cast an everlasting mark of shame on the international court,” Netanyahu said in a video-recorded statement.

Netanyahu accused Khan of creating a “twisted and false moral equivalence between the leaders of Israel and the henchmen of Hamas. This is like creating a moral equivalence after September 11th between President Bush and Osama Bin Laden, or during World War II between FDR and Hitler.”

“What a travesty of justice. What a disgrace… Notwithstanding the blood libels Mr. Khan has leveled, Israel will continue to wage this war in full compliance with international law. We will continue to take unprecedented measures to get innocent civilians out of harm’s way and to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need in Gaza,” Netanyahu added.

Defence Minister Gallant echoed Netanyahu, saying the attempt made by Khan to “turn things around will not succeed.”

“The parallel he has drawn between the Hamas terrorist organisation and the State of Israel is despicable. The State of Israel is not a party to the Court and does not recognize its authority. Prosecutor Karim Khan’s attempt to deny the State of Israel the right to defend herself and ensure the release of the hostages held in Gaza, must be rejected explicitly,” he said.

Israel is not a member of the ICC, but the court claims to have jurisdiction over East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.

U.S. President Joe Biden also lashed out at the prosecutor, rejecting the “outrageous” decision by Khan: “Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. Let me be clear: we reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders.”

Biden also said that the U.S. rejects the claims against Israel in The Hague: “What’s happening (in Gaza) is not genocide. We reject that.”

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