Israel cannot avoid international law: Former Italian PM after ICJ’s plea for arrest warrant against Netanyahu

Giuseppe Conte in 2019

Former Italian Prime Minister and opposition leader Giuseppe Conte stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must adhere to rules as he cannot avoid being submitted to international law.

This statement followed the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes.

Conte remarked that he does not comment on the decisions and requests of international courts but emphasised that just as the request for an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was acknowledged, so too should the request for Hamas leaders and Netanyahu, who, despite being a democratically elected leader, cannot escape international law regarding war crimes.

On Monday, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced he was seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, Hamas’ chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Al-Masri, the commander-in-chief of Hamas’ military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ Political Bureau. Khan stated he had reasonable grounds to believe these five individuals are criminally responsible for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders have denied the allegations of war crimes. Meanwhile, the permanent mission of Liechtenstein to the UN expressed full support for the ICC’s decisions, affirming the importance of justice and equality before the law for all victims.

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