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Netanyahu denounces ICC prosecutor’s bid to arrest him, US supports Israel

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Netanyahu denounces ICC prosecutor’s bid to arrest him, US supports Israel

YEREVAN, MAY 21, ARMENPRESS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has angrily condemned the International Criminal Court's prosecutor for seeking arrest warrants for him alongside Hamas's leaders over alleged war crimes in the Gaza conflict, BBC reports.

Netanyahu said he rejected with disgust that "democratic Israel" had been compared with what he called "mass murderers". He also condemned the application to seek his arrest as "an absurd and false order". In a public statement in Hebrew, he asked "with what audacity" the ICC would "dare to compare" Hamas and Israel, the report adds.

According to Netanyahu, the comparison was a "distortion of reality."

US President Joe Biden supported Israel’s PM, saying there was no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

"It's clear Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection," Biden said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed the president's condemnation, saying Washington "fundamentally rejects" the move.Blinken also suggested the request for arrest warrants would jeopardize ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire deal.

As reported earlier, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking arrest warrantsagainst the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ military chief Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, and head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh over alleged war crimes.

A panel of judges at the ICC must now consider whether to issue the warrants and, if they do, countries signed up to the ICC statute are obliged to arrest the men if they have such an opportunity, BBC adds.

Israel and the US, its key ally, are not members of the ICC, which was set up in 2002.

The accusations against the Israeli and Hamas leaders stem from the events of October 7, when Hamas gunmen attacked Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking 252 others back to Gaza as hostages. The attack triggered the current war, in which at least 35,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry.

AREMNPRESS

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