US Slams 'Outrageous' Decision, Belgium Hails 'Crucial Step' | World Reacts To ICC's Arrest Warrants

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Israeli PM Netanyahu and defence minister along with three Hamas leaders. While the United States has rejected this "outrageous" decision, several countries and organsiations have welcomed ICC's call.

US Slams 'Outrageous' Decision; Belgium Hails 'Crucial Step' | World Reacts To ICC's Arrest Warrants Photo: AP

The United States has backed its ally Israel and denounced the recent arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

President Joe Biden called the application for these arrest warrants "completely outrageous" and slammed the top criminal court for applying that there is an equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

"Let me be clear: Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas,” stated Biden.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned and rejected the arrest warrants against Israeli leaders.

World Reacts To ICC's Arrest Warrants

The United Kingdom has also rejected these arrest warrants as ICC's decision is "not helpful in relation to reaching a pause in the fighting, getting hostages out or getting humanitarian aid in".

A spokesperson for PM Rishi Sunak also questioned the jurisdiction of the ICC to issue such warrants and stated that "the UK, as with other countries, does not yet recognise Palestine as a state and Israel is not a state party to the Rome Statute".

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has stated that the move to seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders at the same time was "non-comprehensible".

"The fact however that the leader of the terrorist organisation Hamas whose declared goal is the extinction of the State of Israel is being mentioned at the same time as the democratically elected representatives of that very State is non-comprehensible," stated the Chancellor.

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Petr Fiala has rejected the warrants issued by ICC for Israel. PM Fiala has stated that the top court's decision to issue an " arrest warrant for the representatives of a democratically elected government together with the leaders of an Islamist terrorist organisation is appalling and completely unacceptable".

"We must not forget that it was Hamas that attacked Israel in October and killed, injured and kidnapped thousands of innocent people. It was this completely unprovoked terrorist attack that led to the current war in Gaza and the suffering of civilians in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon," Fiala added further.

However, many countries, especially Palestine, have welcomed the decision by the ICC to issue arrest warrants.

Belgium has welcomed the arrest warrants and stated that ICC' decision is an "important step in the investigation of the situation in Palestine". The Foreign Minister - Hadja Lahbib - further added that any crimes committed in the Gaza Strip must be prosecuted at the highest level.

Gaza's media office has welcomed the decision to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant but has denounced the same for Hamas leaders.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian National Initiative have welcomed the decision. Mustafa Bargouthi, the secretary general of PNI stated that the ICC's decision shows that "no one is immune from international law".

Certain representatives from the United Nations have also welcomed the decision. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing stated that the charges against both Hamas and Israeli leaders are "likely to stick".

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch welcomed the decision for warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant and several Hamas leaders.

"Victims of serious abuses in Israel and Palestine have faced a wall of impunity for decades. 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,” stated the watchdog.

What Are The Charges Against Israeli and Hamas Leaders?

As per the statement issued by Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, both Israeli and Hamas leaders have been accused of various war crimes.

In the statement, from Israel - PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant have been named. From the Hamas side, Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif), Ismail Haniyeh have been named as the accused by Khan.