Thursday, May 23, 2024

Israeli communists: “ICC arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant signals Israel’s rapid decline into a fascist regime"

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Kahn, said Monday that he had request arrest warrants from the court’s judges for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, along with top Hamas leaders. Kahn said that the charges against Israel’s premier and defense chief are for the crimes of “causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict. 
“We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy. These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day,” said Khan in reference to Netanyahu and Gallant.

Kahn said he was also applying for arrest warrants against Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s ruler in Gaza; Hamas military chief, Mohammed Deif; and the leader of the organization, Ismail Haniyeh. “Today we have applied for warrants to the pretrial chamber of the International Criminal Court in relation to three individuals who are Hamas members,” Kahn said, listing Sinwar, Deif, and Haniyeh.

He said they would be charged with extermination, murder, hostage-taking, rape, and sexual assault. “We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population of Israel by Hamas and other armed groups pursuant to organizational policies,” said the statement.

Israel is not a member of the court, and even if the arrest warrants are issued, Netanyahu and Gallant do not face any immediate risk of prosecution. But Khan’s announcement deepens Israel’s isolation as it presses ahead with its war, and the threat of arrest could make it difficult for the Israeli far-right and leaders to travel abroad.

According Hadash, “The ICC prosecutor’s request to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant on suspicion of committing war crimes in Gaza signals Israel’s rapid decline into a fascist regime. The international community is signaling to Israel that it can no longer maintain its policy of violence, killing, occupation and destruction without accountability. Likewise, the request for arrest warrants against Hamas leaders for the crimes of October 7 is important and draws a red line where harm to civilians is concerned.”

“Israel does not want to, investigate its crimes against the Palestinians. For decades, Israel has used its domestic law enforcement system as a whitewash mechanism to deflect international criticism. ‘The system does not investigate the orders themselves, nor the responsibility of those who issue them or who determine the policy,’ stated B’Tselem in its report The Fig Leaf of Occupation.”

“The Israeli violence directed at Palestinians to perpetuate the occupation is state violence and is inherent to the Israeli apartheid regime. This is true in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and everywhere else. The ICC intervention and ICJ rulings are a chance for Israelis, that a regime of occupation, violence and oppression necessarily involves crimes and severe violation of human rights. We call on the international community to act urgently to bring about a ceasefire and a deal for the release of all the hostages, in order to stop the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe. We will continued to fight against the deadly war in Gaza and against the far-right government in Israel, for the release of all the hostages and Palestinian prisoners, for a just peace in the region, based on the United Nations’ resolutions, and calling for an end to the occupation of all territories conquered in 1967; the dismantling of all Israeli settlements and the racist separation fence in the occupied Palestinian territories; the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem; and the finding of a just solution for the displacement of the Palestinian refugees which assures the right of return in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194,” Hadash said.


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