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Germany condemns arrest warrant against Netanyahu; France supports the ICC

The International Criminal Court prosecutor's arrest warrant against leaders of Hamas and Israel “created the incorrect impression of an equivalence,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Monday (20).

Germany has “always supported” the ICC, the country's foreign ministry said, but highlighted that Hamas leaders “are responsible for a barbaric massacre in which men, women and children were murdered, raped and kidnapped in Israel on 7 October, in the most brutal way possible.”

Germany's statement made no reference to Israel's subsequent war in Gaza, which has killed more than 35,000 people and injured nearly 80,000, according to the enclave's Health Ministry.

“The Israeli government has the right and duty to protect and defend its population against this. Of course, international humanitarian law and all its obligations apply,” the German Foreign Ministry said.

Germany joins a number of Western countries that have come together to criticize ICC prosecutor Karim Khan's decision to seek the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders – alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity.

US President Joe Biden even stated that he considered the attempt to impose legal measures against Israeli authorities “outrageous”.

France opens divergence and supports arrest request

France, however, decided to publicly support the request of the International Criminal Court prosecutor and stated that it was in favor of the “fight against impunity”, according to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The French Foreign Ministry also reiterated its condemnation of Hamas' “anti-Semitic massacres” on October 7, and reinforced its warnings about possible violations of international humanitarian law by Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip.

“With regard to Israel, it will be up to the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber to decide whether to issue these warrants, after examining the evidence presented by the prosecutor,” the ministry said.

However, if such warrants are issued, members of the court, which includes almost all European Union countries, could find themselves in a diplomatically difficult position.

According to the agreements that led to the creation of the ICC, any member country is obliged to detain targets of an arrest warrant issued by the court. Which, in practice, would prevent Netanyahu from visiting the 123 signatory nations of the court.

*With information from Reuters

Source: CNN Brasil

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