PRC Welcomes International Criminal Court Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant

PRC Welcomes International Criminal Court Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant

The Palestinian Return Centre welcomes that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has filed applications for arrest warrants to charge Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant for international crimes under the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute, including the war crime of starvation and the crimes against humanity of extermination and persecution.


This is a crucial step, amid the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza, to ensure justice and accountability. It is of the utmost importance that arrest warrants have been issued for the crimes of extermination, persecution, wilfully causing great suffering or cruel treatment, wilful killing or murder, the crime of intentionally committing attacks against the civilian population, the war crime of starvation, and other inhumane acts as crucial.


However, as other human rights organisations have stated, there is also a public catalogue of genocidal statements of intent to destroy Palestinians in Gaza, including through the intentional denial of aid. For these reasons, genocide as an additional crime should be included in an amendment to the charges.


It also of grave concern, that the ICC Prosecutor has failed to provide any meaningful context out which these international crimes arise. There is overwhelming evidence and consensus that the Israeli state is engaging in the crime of apartheid, military occupation and settler colonial expansion. Omission of this crucial context is significantly detrimental to ensuring justice and accountability. Israel’s criminal assault on Palestinians did not begin in October 2023.


The ICC Prosecutor should also further charge Israeli leaders and generals for the horrific crimes committed against Palestinian detainees, including torture and sexual violence.


Responding the news Human Rights Watch stated ‘This principled first step by the prosecutor opens the door to those responsible for the atrocities committed in recent months to answer for their actions at a fair trial. ICC member countries should stand ready to resolutely protect the ICC’s independence as hostile pressure is likely to increase while the ICC judges consider Khan’s request.’


In this vein, the Palestinian Return Centre, as welcomes accountability for all crimes proven since October 7th, calls on ICC member countries to support the work of the Prosecutor in bringing justice to the Palestinian victims of international crime and the ongoing genocide.

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