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AU welcomes ICC prosecutor’s bid for Netanyahu arrest


Wednesday May 22, 2024

The African Union Commission has welcomed ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s application for arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Gaza attacks.

African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat says arrest warrants against people responsible for Gaza war should have been issued “from the beginning.” / Photo: Reuters

The head of the African Union Commission has welcomed the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s arrest warrants request for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as well as three leaders of Hamas.

Moussa Faki Mahamat made the comments in an interview with Doha News, according to a short video posted on X.

He described the ICC’s move as “absolutely logical.”

“I think they took too much time, they should have done it from the beginning, because it’s clearly a decision to destroy a people and a nation. That is not acceptable,” Mahamat said.

‘Must be applied equally to all’

On Monday, Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor said that he has applied for arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, head of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, its top official in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, and head of Hamas’ military wing Mohammed Deif.

The decision on whether any of the warrants will ultimately be issued lies with a panel of three ICC judges, which will assess the evidence presented by Khan’s office.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also welcomed the decision by the ICC prosecutor in a statement, saying: “The law must be applied equally to all in order to uphold the international rule of law, ensure accountability for those that commit heinous crimes and protect the rights of victims.”

Israel has killed more than 35,600 Palestinians in Gaza since an October 7 cross-border incursion by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives. The air and ground attacks have reduced the Palestinian enclave to rubble, leading to mass internal displacement and a shortage of basic necessities.

 

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