The US defends Israel against accusations

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Written By Maya Cantina

Washington/Gaza

The US has demonstratively defended its ally Israel after seeking arrest warrants for the head of the government and the defense minister over serious allegations in the Gaza war. “Contrary to the International Court of Justice’s accusations against Israel, this is not genocide,” the US president said Joe Biden in the White House Rose Garden to celebrate the achievements of American Jews in the United States. “We reject this. We stand with Israel.”

Israel’s main ally had previously strongly criticized the fact that the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor had issued an arrest warrant for alleged crimes against humanity against the Israeli head of government Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Joav Galant had requested it. Arrest warrants were also issued for the leader of the Hamas in Gaza, Jihia al-Sinwar and other Hamas representatives have asked. But there is no equivalence between Israel and the Islamist Hamas – which the US classifies as a terrorist organization – Biden emphasized.

Neither the US nor Israel recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Palestinian Territories are a Contracting State. That is why chief prosecutor Karim Khan is also allowed to investigate. His simultaneous actions against Hamas and Israel have, according to the Foreign office however, create a false image. “The simultaneous application for arrest warrants against the Hamas leaders on the one hand and the two Israeli officials on the other gave the false impression of a comparison,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Berlin.

The court does not have the ability to execute arrest warrants itself. However, this significantly limits the freedom of movement of those wanted – as all contracting states are required by the court to arrest suspects with open arrest warrants and transfer them to The Hague once they are in their country.

Israel sharply criticizes the chief prosecutor

The Israeli government has sharply criticized the motions against Netanyahu and Galant. “While the murderers and rapists of Hamas are committing crimes against humanity against our brothers and sisters, the Chief Prosecutor mentions in the same breath our Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, alongside the despicable Nazi monsters of Hamas – a historical shame that will be remembered forever .” , Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, calling it a “scandalous decision.”

The judges must now decide whether the arrest warrants will actually be issued. If they consider the allegations confirmed, the main proceedings against the suspect can be initiated.

The South African government welcomed the actions of the ICC’s chief prosecutor. The country had repeatedly called on the International Court of Justice to take action against Israel and accused Netanyahu’s government of genocide. The UN judges have issued urgent decisions requiring Israel to do everything possible to prevent genocide in Gaza and enable humanitarian aid.

Blinken: Arrest warrant requests could jeopardize hostage agreements

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the chief prosecutor’s actions could jeopardize ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement in Gaza. Hamas is being emboldened and that is the main obstacle to an agreement, said U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. Efforts to release the hostages and broker a ceasefire made no progress last week, US National Security Council communications director John Kirby said. Because Israel and Hamas do not negotiate directly with each other, Egypt, Qatar and the United States act as mediators in the negotiations.

The US urges aid for the people of Gaza

While US President Biden reiterated his “unwavering commitment” to Israel’s security, his security adviser Jake Sullivan also urged access to humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip in talks with Israeli leaders. It is important that Israel and Egypt conclude their discussions on the early reopening of the Rafah border crossing in the south of the closed coastal area, Sullivan emphasized in conversations with Israeli Defense Minister Galant and Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi, of the White House. said. Humanitarian workers must be able to safely provide assistance to people in need throughout the Gaza Strip using all available border crossings.

Report: Gaza aid convoy looted at new pier

At the end of last week, trucks carrying aid entered the embattled Gaza Strip for the first time via an improvised US military pier. As the US Central Command Centcom announced on the X platform, 569 tons of relief supplies have been delivered to Gaza in this way so far. Based on previous aid deliveries to the coastal strip, this equates to about 25 truckloads, the Times of Israel wrote. The aid yet to be distributed to people in the disputed area came from the US, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, the EU and other countries, US Central Command said.

One of the emergency supplies was looted on Saturday, the New York Times newspaper reported, citing a World Food Program spokeswoman. Palestinians intercepted a convoy of trucks carrying aid from the pier, looted them and then ran away. The incident underlines the difficulty of bringing humanitarian aid safely to the disputed coastal area.

Meanwhile, according to UN estimates, around 800,000 internally displaced people have left the city of Rafah since the Israeli military operation there began about two weeks ago. They are now further north, including on a stretch of beach where there is hardly any humanitarian aid, according to the Wall Street Journal. Families cooked over open fires, which required them to burn waste due to a lack of fuel. Garbage piled up everywhere and sewage flowed into the sea.

In Rafah, on the border with Egypt, the Israeli leadership wants to destroy the last Hamas battalions believed to be there. Rafah is the last city in Gaza that is still relatively intact. The US rejects a major Israeli ground offensive there. Israeli Defense Minister Galant and his chief of staff Halevi briefed Sullivan on “new alternative approaches to countering Hamas in Rafah,” the White House said. “Both sides agreed to continue discussions.”

Iran’s military chief orders an investigation into the cause of the crash

Meanwhile, the army chief of Israel’s arch-enemy Iran has called for a thorough investigation into the fatal crash of the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian. According to a report by Isna news agency, General Mohammed Bagheri has set up a team at the Ministry of Defense for this purpose.

In addition to the two statesmen, all seven other occupants of the helicopter died in the crash in the northeast of the country on Sunday. Since then, there has been speculation in Iran as to whether bad weather, a technical defect or an Israeli act of sabotage could have been responsible for the incident.


An announcement: This report is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa), which operates according to strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or controlled by the AZ online editors. Feel free to send questions and comments feedback@az-muenchen.de



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