Gallant: ICC has no authority after prosecutor seeks warrants for Israeli leaders

Defense Minister slams equating Hamas atrocities to Israel conduct, saying IDF soldiers, commanders acting morally, taking steps never taken by any military in combat in adherence of humanitarian law; Germany: 'arrest warrants for Hamas leaders is logical'  

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday that Israel does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, after its chief prosecutor said he was seeking arrest warrants for the minister and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his first comments after Karim Khan said he had reason to seek the warrants against the Israeli leaders, Gallant rejected the equivocation he said was made by the ICC prosecutor of the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 and Israel's conduct in the ensuing war.
"The effort to reverse reality will not succeed," Gallant said. "Equating between the Hamas terror organization and the state of Israel is abhorrent and reprehensible. Israel is not a side in the court and does not recognize its authority," he said.
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טקס מצטייני צה"ל בבית הנשיא
טקס מצטייני צה"ל בבית הנשיא
Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky )
"The attempt by the prosecutor to prevent the state of Israel's right to defend itself and free its hostages, must be rejected off hand."
Gallant said Israel was fighting a blood-thirsty and murderous enemy that carried out atrocities against Israeli women, children and men. "Hamas is now using its own people as human shields," he said.
"The IDF is fighting in accordance with international law, taking unique steps in its humanitarian efforts, the likes of which have never before been taken in armed combat. Israel takes pride in the morality of its troops and commanders. As defense minister I support and stand by the IDF soldiers who are fighting for the defense of Israel and exercising the right and the duty to defend ourselves and our forces."
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תיעוד: הלחימה של כוחות צוות הקרב של חטיבת שריון 460 בג'אבליה
תיעוד: הלחימה של כוחות צוות הקרב של חטיבת שריון 460 בג'אבליה
IDF troops in Gaza
(Photo: IDF)
In an official statement on Monday, Khan accused Netanyahu and Gallant of a flurry of charges, including "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare," "Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health... or cruel treatment," "Willful killing... or Murder, "Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population," "Extermination and/or murder... in the context of deaths caused by starvation," "Persecution" and "Other inhumane acts."

Germany weighs in on warrant application

A request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for arrest warrants for Hamas leaders is logical and no comparisons can be made with Israel's prime minister and defense minister, for whom warrants are also being sought, a German government spokesperson said.
"The accusations of the chief prosecutor are serious and must be substantiated," said the spokesperson on Tuesday. He added that Germany assumed Israel's democratic system and rule of law with a strong, independent judiciary would be taken into account by judges deciding whether to issue the warrants.
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First published: 11:55, 05.21.24
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