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AIJAC strongly condemns International Criminal Court arrest warrant requests for Israeli leaders

May 21, 2024 | AIJAC

The International Criminal Court entrance at The Hague, Netherlands (Image: Shutterstock)
The International Criminal Court entrance at The Hague, Netherlands (Image: Shutterstock)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has strongly condemned the decision by International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to request arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said, “This abhorrent decision is simply the latest abominable travesty from a UN system that is so biased against Israel that the General Assembly and other UN agencies, year after year, pass more resolutions condemning Israel than every other country combined.

“Under any reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes and treaties, the Court does not even have jurisdiction over Israel, given Israel is not a signatory and has a fully independent legal system willing and able to investigate such matters itself.

“The Chief Prosecutor’s decision is based on numerous false allegations regarding Israeli conduct. For example, Netanyahu and Gallant are accused of deliberately targeting civilians, despite Israel’s extensive efforts to evacuate civilians before attacking. They are accused of deliberately starving the people of Gaza, despite Israel’s great efforts to get humanitarian aid into the enclave. They are accused of depriving Gaza of water, even though 90% of its water comes from within the territory.

“The false equivalence being drawn between a country fighting a war of self-defence in accordance with international law and Hamas, a terrorist group that launched an unprovoked orgy of murder, rape and kidnapping, is beyond outrageous.

“If the judges of the ICC care about international law, justice and the reputation of their court, they must refuse this application for arrest warrants. Similarly, Western democratic countries, including Australia, must prevail on the Court to refuse the application, not just because of the total disregard of the law, facts and principles of justice inherent in this application, but also because it will set a precedent that will grant effective impunity to any other terrorist group that embeds itself among a civilian population,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

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