France “supports” the ICC

France “supports” the ICC
France “supports” the ICC

The Quai d’Orsay said it supported the International Criminal Court this Monday, May 20, while one of its prosecutors requested arrest warrants against the Israeli Prime Minister and Hamas leaders for alleged crimes against humanity.

The reactions are multiplying. If American President Joe Biden considered the arrest warrant requested by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “scandalous”, France said this Monday, May 20, that it “supports” the institution.

“France supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and the fight against impunity in all situations,” we can read in a press release published on the Quai d’Orsay website and shared on social networks in the evening .

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said he had requested arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, for crimes including “deliberately starving civilians,” “intentional homicide” and “extermination and/or murder”.

Three Hamas leaders are also being prosecuted for alleged crimes against humanity, more than eight months after the Islamist movement’s attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023.

In its press release, the Quai d’Orsay recalls that France condemned “from October 7 the anti-Semitic massacres perpetrated by Hamas”.

“This terrorist group claimed responsibility for barbaric attacks against civilians, accompanied by acts of torture and sexual violence that it itself documented, including by broadcasting and celebrating them,” we can read.

Germany deplores a “false impression of equivalence”

“Concerning Israel, it will be up to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court to rule on the issuance of these warrants, after having examined the evidence put forward by the Prosecutor to support his accusations, taking into account the principle of complementarity and the possible action by Israeli courts”, it is indicated.

The press release recalls that France “has been warning for many months about the imperative of strict compliance with international humanitarian law and in particular about the unacceptable nature of civilian losses in the Gaza Strip and insufficient humanitarian access.”

Since the start of the Israeli response, the Gaza Strip has been largely razed. Thousands of people, including many civilians, women and children, were killed. The UN has been expressing its concerns for months and Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been accused of “genocide” in several countries.

“France is committed to the search for a lasting political solution in the region, the only one that will allow us to reestablish a horizon of peace and put an end to the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians alike,” concludes the press release from the Quai d’Orsay.

For its part, Germany regretted the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, considering that it gives a “false impression of equivalence” between Israeli officials and those of Hamas.

The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell said he “takes note” of the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. “All states that have ratified the statutes of the ICC are required to execute the decisions of the Court,” he stressed.

If ICC judges decide to issue these arrest warrants, in theory, any of the court’s 124 member states would be obliged to arrest the people if they travel to their territory.

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