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Israeli Minister: The request of the ICC, tends to deny us the right to self-defense

Israeli Minister: The request of the ICC, tends to deny us the right to

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of trying to deny Israel its right to self-defense after its chief prosecutor announced he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders and those Hamas - the group declared terrorist by the United States and the European Union.

"The attempt by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, to undo the creation [of Israel] will not succeed. The parallel that the prosecutor drew between the terrorist group Hamas and the state of Israel is contemptuous and disgusting," Gallant said on May 20.

The ICC's chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, said on Monday that he believes Netanyahu, Minister Gallant, and three Hamas leaders - Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh - are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.

In relation to Israeli leaders, Khan specifically outlined as grounds for arrest warrants "causing starvation of civilians as a means of warfare", "deliberately causing great suffering", "deliberately leading attacks on the civilian population" and "actions the other inhuman".

Khan accused the three Hamas leaders of being responsible for "extermination", "kidnapping", "rape and other acts of sexual violence", "torture" and "inhuman acts".

Prosecutors must seek warrants from a three-judge panel, which can take up to two months to review the evidence and decide whether to proceed.

ICC spokesman Fadi Al-Abdallah told Radio Free Europe that the judges will "make their decision within the deadlines", but did not specify a date.

Israel launched the war in Gaza in response to a Hamas attack in southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped around 250 others.

The Israeli war has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, half of them children and women, according to Hamas officials.

But the Israeli war has also caused a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, displacing about 80 percent of the population and hundreds of thousands of people suffering from starvation, according to UN officials.

Israel has denied committing any crimes during the now seven-month war in Gaza.

The request of the chief prosecutor of the ICC has caused numerous reactions from all over the world, for and against Khan's action.

France and Belgium said they support the request of the chief prosecutor of the ICC to issue arrest warrants for the leaders of Israel and Hamas.

France's foreign ministry said it "supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and the fight against impunity in all situations".

"Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest levels, regardless of who is the perpetrator," said Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden denounced the attorney general's request to arrest Netanyahu and Gallant, saying that "whatever the prosecutor wanted to say, there is no parallel between Israel and Hamas."

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