Tags: yoav gallant | israel | icc | arrest warrant | benjamin netanyahu

Israel Defense Chief Rejects ICC Arrest Warrant

By    |   Tuesday, 21 May 2024 09:50 AM EDT

Israel's defense minister on Tuesday expressed support for the Israel Defense Forces' conduct in the Gaza war, sharply criticizing the previous day's decision by the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants against him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Since Oct. 7, the state of Israel [has been] fighting against a brutal terrorist organization, Hamas — an enemy that conducted atrocities against Israeli children, women and men. Now, it also uses its own people as human shields," Yoav Gallant said. "The IDF is fighting in accordance with international law, while taking unprecedented measures to facilitate humanitarian aid.

"The state of Israel is proud of its soldiers and commanders, and the values they represent. As minister of defense, I stand with, support, and commend our troops, who are defending our people and fulfilling the extraordinary privilege and obligation of defending ourselves, by ourselves.

"The attempt made by the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to turn things around will not succeed — the parallel he has drawn between the Hamas terrorist organization 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."

Netanyahu on Monday called the decision "scandalous," saying it will not stop Jerusalem from destroying the Hamas terror organization.

In a video statement on X on Monday, Netanyahu said Khan's decision was not only directed against him and Gallant.

"It is directed against the entire state of Israel," Netanyahu said. "It is directed against the IDF soldiers, who are fighting with supreme heroism against the vile Hamas murderers.

"With what audacity do you dare to make a comparison between Hamas — which murdered, burned, butchered, raped, and kidnapped our brothers and sisters — and the IDF soldiers who are fighting a just war that is unparalleled, with a morality that is unmatched?"

Netanyahu said Israel will not be prevented from defending itself.

"I repeat what I said on the eve of Yom HaShoah [Holocaust Remembrance Day] in Jerusalem: As the prime minister of Israel, I pledge that no pressure, no decision, no international forum will prevent us from striking those who seek to destroy us," he said.

Khan announced his move against Israel during an interview with CNN earlier on Monday. He said he would seek arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant for "causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies [and] deliberately targeting civilians in conflict."

In a statement published following the CNN interview, Khan's office said he had "reasonable grounds to believe" that Netanyahu and Gallant bore criminal responsibility for "war crimes and crimes against humanity" committed by the IDF since Hamas terrorists murdered some 1,200 people in Israel on Oct. 7.

The statement noted, however, that, "The independent judges of the International Criminal Court are the sole arbiters as to whether the necessary standard for the issuance of warrants of arrest has been met."

A panel of three justices from the ICC's Pre-Trial Division will now consider Khan's application.

If the court greenlights the warrants, it would constitute an "unprecedented antisemitic hate crime," Netanyahu said last month after reports surfaced of Khan's intentions.

This JNS.org report was republished with permission from Jewish News Syndicate.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Israel's defense minister expressed support for the IDF's conduct in the Gaza war, sharply criticizing the previous day's decision by the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants against him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
yoav gallant, israel, icc, arrest warrant, benjamin netanyahu
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 09:50 AM
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