France backs ICC after arrest warrant for Israeli, Hamas leaders

France’s Foreign Ministry has come out in support of the International Criminal Court and its issuing of arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza and in Israel.

“France supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and its fight against impunity in all situations,” the Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement published Monday night, following the ICC’s announcement.

Earlier the ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan said he had issued arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders—Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh—for crimes committed in Israel and Gaza on 7 October 2023 and after, including “extermination”, “taking hostages” and “rape and other acts of sexual violence”.

Khan also issued warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for crimes in Gaza following Hamas’ 7 October attack, including “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare”, “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population” and “extermination and/or murder”.

The French Foreign Ministry said it “has condemned, as of 7 October, the anti-Semitic massacres perpetuated by Hamas. This terrorist group claimed the barbaric attacks directed at civilians, accompanied by acts of torture and sexual violence that they themselves documented”.

The United States objected to the ICC’s putting Israel and Hamas in the same warrant.

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