Israel urges Paris to denounce ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrant against Netanyahu

Israel urges Paris to denounce ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrant against Netanyahu
Israel urges Paris to denounce ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrant against Netanyahu

Visiting Paris, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed his French counterpart, asking him to denounce the recent statements by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs urged France this Tuesday evening, May 21, to denounce the request from the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for arrest warrants against the Israeli Prime Minister and his Minister of Defense.

“I turn to my friend the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. Faced with this shameful and scandalous proposal from the Attorney General, your support and that of the French government are essential,” declared Israel Katz, during an event in Paris at the occasion of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 76th anniversary of the State of Israel.

“It is important that you announce loud and clear that the attorney general’s proposal is shameful, and therefore unacceptable for you and for the French government,” he said.

France supports the “independence” of the ICC

Karim Khan on Monday called for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister, and against three Hamas leaders for alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.

In a press release published on the night of Monday to Tuesday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially stressed that “France supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and the fight against impunity in all situations”.

Tuesday afternoon, during questions in the National Assembly, Stéphane Séjourné clarified France’s position, stressing that “these simultaneous requests for arrest warrants must not create equivalence between Hamas and Israel.”

“On the one hand, you have a terrorist group which welcomed the attacks of October 7, which claimed responsibility for them (…) in an assertive manner. And on the other side, you have a democratic state, Israel, which must respect international law in the conduct of a war that it did not start itself,” he added.

Tuesday evening, Stéphane Séjourné reiterated that France had taken its responsibilities by condemning the “unacceptable” aggression of October 7 in Israel by Hamas. But “France’s only course of action is peace,” he said, adding that Israel would “also be the beneficiary.”

Israel Katz insisted: there will be no ceasefire in Gaza “without the return of all the people who were kidnapped”. The two ministers are due to meet bilaterally on Wednesday.

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