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South Africa welcomes ICC decision on Netanyahu arrest warrant

May 21, 2024 at 9:41 am

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gives a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 24, 2023 [Handout – BRICS/Anadolu Agency]

South Africa has welcomed the decision by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders.

‘A war criminal’: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blood on his hands – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the government welcomes the decision of ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to seek arrest warrants against the named individuals for war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute in the context of the current conflict in Gaza. “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,” it pointed out.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced earlier on Monday that he is seeking to issue arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant, and the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh; the head of the movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar; and the leader of Al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammad al-Deif.

Palestinians in Gaza, and the Islamic Resistance movement, were incredulous that the court could regard the occupation state and the people under its occupation — who have the legitimate right to resist that occupation by all means, “including armed struggle” — with any degree of equivalence in such matters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the move against him and Gallant as “scandalous”, and insisted that, “They will not stop us,” such is his determination to continue his war against the Palestinians in Gaza.

READ: What happens after ICC Prosecutor seeks warrants in Israel-Gaza conflict?