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Sayyid Badr welcomes ICC action on Gaza war crimes

21 May 2024 Sayyid Badr welcomes ICC action on Gaza war crimes By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – H E Sayyid Badr al Busaidy, Foreign Minister, has welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) order seeking arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“I welcome the cleared eyed judgment of the ICC. History will remember the real criminals committing genocide and war crimes against humanity. Justice must prevail,” H E Sayyid Badr posted on ‘X’.

ICC is also seeking arrest warrants against Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar; Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al Masri, the leader of the Al Qassem Brigades – better known as Mohammed Deif; and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the October 7 attacks on Israel.

In a statement on Monday, the court’s prosecutor Karim Khan said, “No foot soldier, no commander, no civilian leader – no one – can act with impunity.”

The law, he said, cannot be applied selectively. If that happens, “we will be creating conditions for its collapse”.

“Today’s applications are the outcome of an independent and impartial investigation by my office. Guided by our obligation to investigate incriminating and exonerating evidence equally, my office has worked painstakingly to separate claims from facts and to soberly present conclusions based on evidence to the Pre-Trial Chamber,” Khan said.

The move against the Israeli politicians mark the first time the ICC targeting the top leader of a close ally of the United States. The decision puts Netanyahu in the company of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, for whom the ICC issued an arrest warrant over Moscow’s war on Ukraine, and the Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, who had been facing an arrest warrant from the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity at the time of his capture and killing in October 2011.

By applying for the arrest warrants against the Israeli and Hamas leaders in the same action, the decision has attracted criticism that it places a supposedly ‘terror’ organisation and an elected government on an equivalent footing.

US President Joe Biden said it was ‘outrageous’ to apply for arrest warrants. There was “no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas”.

Hamas demanded the withdrawal of the allegations against its leaders, claiming that the ICC’s prosecutor was “equating the victim with the executioner”.

It said the request to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli leadership came seven months too late, after “the Israeli occupation committed thousands of crimes”.

Reacting to the news, Gallant on Tuesday described the arrest warrants against him and Prime Minister Netanyahu as a ‘disgraceful’ attempt to interfere in the war. “The State of Israel is not a party to the Court and does not recognise its authority,” he added.

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