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ICC seeks arrest warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders – reactions

ICC seeks arrest warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders – reactions
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Abir Sultan / Pool) I Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh. (Photo: Majid Asgaripour/Wana via Reuters) I Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. (Photo: Reuters/Violeta Santos Moura)

Pretoria has welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to request arrest warrants for Hamas’ and Israel’s leaders — a request that has enraged both Hamas and Israel. 

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday said he had applied for arrest warrants for Hamas’ top brass, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the ongoing war between the two enemies.

His announcement has been hailed as a “massive step in terms of accountability in relation to the conflict in Palestine”. Pretoria has long demanded ICC indictments against Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, suspecting they were being shielded by the US in particular.

On Monday night, the Presidency welcomed the ICC announcement.

“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,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.

In a statement, Khan said he was filing applications for arrest warrants before Pre-Trial Chamber 1 for Hamas’ chief in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar; the commander of its military wing, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri; and the organisation’s political bureau leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

He said he was also asking the judges for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant.

The warrants of arrest are for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October and Israel’s retaliatory assault on the Gaza Strip. Khan’s requests still need to be granted by the judges of Pre-Trial Chamber 1.

Read more Daily Maverick: ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Hamas chiefs

The announcement of an arrest warrant is a blow to Netanyahu who, if a warrant is issued, will face restrictions on his travel. It is also likely to fuel public criticism of Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas.

The ICC has previously issued arrest warrants for Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin is accused of the war crime of unlawfully deporting and transporting children from occupied territory in Ukraine and the ICC is also investigating genocide and crimes against humanity.

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Igor Kovalenko)

Read more in Daily Maverick: War in Ukraine news hub

The Pre-Trial Chamber 1 ruled in February 2021 that the ICC had jurisdiction over the situation in Palestine, including the territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In March 2021, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the opening of an investigation into the situation in Palestine.

In November 2023, South Africa, together with five other states, submitted referrals of the situation in Palestine to the ICC.

In his statement on Monday, Khan said Netanyahu and Gallant bore criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including using the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, wilfully killing and causing great suffering, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, and extermination and/or murder.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant, ICC

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant during a press conference, Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel. 28 October 2023. (Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

“My office submits that the war crimes alleged in these applications were committed in the context of an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a non-international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (together with other Palestinian armed groups) running in parallel.

“We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to state policy.

“These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day,” he said.

“The evidence that we have collected, including interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, authenticated video, photo and audio material, satellite imagery and statements from the alleged perpetrator group, shows that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival.”

“Israel, like all states, has a right to take action to defend its population. That right, however, does not absolve Israel or any state of its obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. Notwithstanding any military goals they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza — namely, intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering and serious injury to the body or health of the civilian population — are criminal,” he continued.

With regard to Sinwar, Al-Masri and Haniyeh, Khan said that he had “reasonable grounds to believe” that they “bear criminal responsibility” for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including, extermination, murder, taking hostages, rape and other acts of sexual violence and torture.

“It is the view of my office that these individuals planned and instigated the commission of crimes on 7 October 2023, and have through their own actions, including personal visits to hostages shortly after their kidnapping, acknowledged their responsibility for those crimes. We submit that these crimes could not have been committed without their actions,” Khan said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted on X that the “outrageous decision” by the ICC prosecutor “is an unrestrained frontal assault on the victims of October 7th and our 128 hostages in Gaza”.

He said it was “a historical disgrace” that Khan “mentions in the same breath the Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Israel alongside the vile Nazi-like monsters of Hamas”.

Katz said he would speak with the foreign ministers of leading countries “to urge them to oppose the Prosecutor’s decision and declare that even if warrants are issued, they do not intend to enforce them against Israeli leaders”.

In a statement, Hamas also condemned the decision, accusing the prosecutor of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner”. It said it had the right to resist Israeli occupation, including “armed resistance”.

Timeline of the International Criminal Court arrest warrant applications for the Israel-Palestine War. (Source: Just Security)

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East crisis news hub

In the South African Presidency statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “South Africa is committed to the international rule of law, universal respect for human rights and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation and not war, and the self-determination of all peoples, including the Palestinians.

“We have also consistently held that all participants to the conflict must ensure that fighting and hostilities come to an immediate end, that all hostages must be released immediately, and that Israel immediately withdraws its military forces from Gaza.”

The International Justice Cluster lead at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (Salc), Dr Atilla Kisla, said this was a “massive step in terms of accountability in relation to the conflict in Palestine”.

“It is a crucial moment for the court to show its impartiality and independence. For the court to demonstrate that, no matter what kind of position you hold in an organisation or a state, you will be held accountable and you cannot hide behind the guise of a self-proclaimed right to self-defence and act outside the law and commit crimes.”

Legal experts expressed different views about the extent of South Africa’s contribution to Khan’s decisions. One noted that there had been a previous referral by Palestine, which is why the ICC said it was already investigating the situation. But he noted that South Africa had specifically referred Israel’s response to the 7 October assault to the ICC and that must have contributed to the ICC’s focus.

Read in Daily Maverick: Pandor says Israel is ignoring the ICJ order to stop killings in Gaza

University of Cape Town international law professor Cathleen Powell said, “I have no doubt that the sheer amount of traffic around the issue may have speeded up the ICC’s handling of the complaints so far.”

She said South Africa had set the ball rolling with its focus on Gaza. But this was “not the magic bullet”, as all the other actions, such as the interventions in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case by other countries in support of South Africa’s case, as well as the UN General Assembly and “all the American campuses that are going up in flames” had also made important contributions.

Asked for her opinion on SA’s role in the ICC decision, the former head of the Salc and the Helen Suzman Foundation, Nicole Fritz said, “I don’t know that SA can claim credit, but one can be sure that the ICC is going to be the subject of unprecedented attack and attempts to undermine it.

“South Africa’s support, and that of other like-minded states who want to see justice for Palestinians and Israelis, for the independence and integrity of the ICC has never been more critical and SA should do all it can to protect the ICC from the threats and attacks that can be anticipated with certainty.”

‘Independence and impartiality’

In his announcement on Monday, Khan also addressed earlier threats against the ICC if it acted against Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials. He might have been referring to a letter sent to the ICC by 12 US Republican Party senators in April, in which they threatened sanctions and other actions against ICC officials if they proceeded with these charges.

“It is critical in this moment that my office and all parts of the court, including its independent judges, are permitted to conduct their work with full independence and impartiality,” Khan said. “I insist that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence the officials of this court must cease immediately.”

If not, he said his office would not hesitate to act under article 70 of the Rome Statute which governs the ICC. Article 70 allows the ICC to prosecute anyone who attempts to interfere with its work.

From ICC to ICJ

The ICC’s request for arrest warrants comes mere days after the ICJ heard South Africa’s request for additional provisional measures in its genocide case against Israel.

Read more in Daily Maverick: South Africa’s legal team asks ICJ to order halt to all Israeli military activity in Gaza Strip

While the ICJ is concerned with violations of the Genocide Convention, the ICC, in this context, is concerned with war crimes and crimes against humanity — whether by Hamas or Israeli leaders, Kisla explained.

While Kisla believed it was unlikely that the ICJ judges would refer to the ICC warrants in their ruling, the judges would “certainly take note of it, and again, it will shape the public opinion”.

Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, an international criminal law expert at the Institute for Security Studies, said: “There aren’t any charges for genocide [yet], so I would hesitate to link this with SA’s ICJ case. However, it is significant that these processes are underway at the same time.

“What I do foresee, though, is that the ICJ will have more to go on now than before — this is good for SA’s case, as much of what they have alleged is part of the charges levelled against Netanyahu and Gallant (though focused on war crimes and crimes against humanity).” DM

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  • Ismail Fredericks says:

    This is a new low. One day the world will look back on this with embarrassment and horror

    • Denise Smit says:

      agree

    • Graeme Bird says:

      But actually the ‘world’ has already identified the horror inflicted by both Israel and Hamas. With this step, the ICJ case and the recent UN resolutions also making it clear that the ‘world’ has clearly recognised that Israel is on the wrong side of history with Hamas in this conflict.

    • Ompaletse Mokwadi says:

      What “embarrassment and horror”? You would rather have that warmonger Benjamin Netanyahu and his gang commit genocide against unarmed Palestinian population (especially women and children)?

  • Steve Davidson says:

    And they haven’t even got round to the disgraceful Israeli actions – and Palestinian deaths – in the West Bank over the last decades. Conveniently and continuously ignored by the brainwashed Western powers.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Don’t worry .. as Gideon Levy (bless his soul) has said, Israel is hoping that by pretending to be the (nuclear armed nogal!) VICTIM in this conflict, though its occupation, dispossession and humiliation of Palestinians has been ongoing for 75+ years … the ‘world’ will somehow buy into or be duped into that well rehearsed charade ! Certainly many ‘western’ states have done so … hence their continuing contributions to the current genocide. As for the war mongering US which presided over the genocide of the indigenous people of America … it is to be expected.

  • Matthew Pantland says:

    About time. Pity it took so long. World will look back and be ashamed that they have allowed this to go on for too long.

  • Denise Smit says:

    Hamas is responsible for “extermination” . Is this a softer word for genocide?

    • Simon Dobson says:

      Agreed.

    • John P says:

      It is time to realise that both sides of this war are in the wrong as the requested warrants so ably explain.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        You mean the “most moral army in the world” according to their ICJ legal counsel, could also be at fault (video evidence to the contrary by the heaps notwithstanding!) ? Surely I am dreaming ?

    • Rodney Weidemann says:

      And Israel is responsible for the deaths of 30 000 women and children – I think that qualifies for either of those words, whichever one you would prefer to choose…

      • John P says:

        To clarify the current figures are about 35,000 dead of which just under half are women and children, only half of these have been positively identified. In addition almost 80,000 have been injured and an unknown number of dead remain buried in the rubble. The figures do not identify how many of these were Hamas fighters, Hamas says 4,000 and Israel says 14,000. About 700 IDF soldiers have died.

    • JP K says:

      Genocide specifically includes the intent to destroy in whole or part members of a particular group. The genocide convention applies to states parties.

      Extermination is distinct from genocide in that while it also involves large scale killing, it does not require intent to target a particular group.

      Charges of extermination are being sought for both Israel and Hamas leaders at the ICC, but Israel is also facing a charge of genocide at the ICJ.

  • Agf Agf says:

    South Africa’s holier than thou support of the actions are rich considering their refusal to arrest the war criminal Bashir.

  • Ian HUNTLY says:

    Long long overdue IMV

  • Johan Buys says:

    Pink Floyd was right : build a home for politicians. Nowadays we can give them an augmented reality game show to play in. Extremists from whatever flavour are the essence of the problem. Three generations ago, ordinary palestinians and jews lived and worked peacefully side by side. Then came the politicians and the wars.

    Netanyahu is as much an extremist as Sinwar. Last night Netanyahu was blabbing on about his being a democratically elected government. Likud got 23% of the vote in the last election!! Three out of four Israelis voted against Likud.

    Anyway, not my dam, not my ducks and nothing will ever change with religion on the agenda.

    • Tony Fisher says:

      Netanyahu’s political coalition position in Israel is a foretaste of SA’s possible government situation after the upcoming elections. (Just the percentages are mildly different.)

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      Very well recognized and aptly summarized. There is nothing to add.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Even Biden thought these warrants ridiculous…. note the Chief Prosecuter is, I think, a Moslem

    • John P says:

      He is an Ahmadiyya Muslim. What are you implying, that if he was a Christian or a Jew he would have only asked for warrants against Hamas leaders? That would not say much for his impartiality.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    And the usual armchair ‘experts’ all weigh in – JohnP, Davidson and all the usual antisemites can’t wait to give their expert international legal opinions. This action has about as much chance of succeeding as SA’s multiple (never mind costly) actions in the ICJ. The deflecting, populist, axis-aligned, vote-hungry ANC has achieved absolutely sweet blow all there (properly understand the the findings, there’s no proof of genocide, even bringing it to an International Court will take years – there’s no proof of genocide, just legal jingoism). This is all populist, psuedo-legal, institutionalized antisemitism – served up to as viagra for the usual suspects. The UN is now so compromised, soon the West will isolate and dismantle it, and good riddance (trying to equate Hamas, a moment of silence for the Butcher of Tehran). Lol!!!!

    • Mohsin Wadee says:

      Iran hasn’t killed 35000 people in 7 months. So what would you label Netanyahu then, a Nazi? I would.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        Simple Wikepedia search. Iran props up Assad’s regime in Syria. Estimates of the total number of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, by various war monitors, range between 580,000 as of May 2021, and approximately 617,910 as of March 2024. So no, Iran has killed far, far, far more ….

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        The ICC warrant for now is on Israel and Hamas not Iran diversion again, just like shielding your face with your hand and think you are hiding.

    • John P says:

      Once again Mordechai I am not antisemetic and that includes both Jewish and Moslem semetic people. If you are searching for a racist in the room here it is you that I suggest should look in the mirror.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        More attempts at appropriating the semantics, so now the antisemites claim they’re actually philo-semites. Don’t worry, your friends Davidson, Luke, JP, Kenneth et al will be along soon to lend some support.

        • Troy Marshall says:

          I suggest you acquaint yourself with what Bernie Sanders has to say about Netanyahu and Israel’s coalition government
          I suggest you acquaint yourself with what Jonathan Glazer has to say about Israel’s occupation
          I suggest you deal with the fact that students of the Jewish faith have been among those protesting on American campuses
          I suggest you stop conflating anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            One swallow doesn’t make a summer. Care to quote me any statistics of Jewish support for Israel Troy, or would you rather rattle off a few names? Please, please, please ask me for the statistics ….

          • robby 77 says:

            Who cares what Bernie Sanders has to say? Some Jews are also incredibly left-wing, that is not unheard of. I suggest you realise Zionism is at the heart of Judaism. They are ultimately inseparable.

        • John P says:

          You seem to have a classic persecution complex which requires you to lash out at any or all who do not share your exact viewpoint.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        Hey … Mordechai is the emeritus professor on all things ‘Israel’ … period (American hubris -Beinart – style)! He leaves people like Profs Chomsky (US), Shlaim (UK) to name just a few … trailing in his stellar (self proclaimed) dust !

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          Oops, forgot to mention the ever-present Kanu …

        • JP K says:

          You’re quite generous. Based on Mordechai’s comments he is not an expert on anything related to Israel except for cherry picking facts which support his Zionist world view. I mean you don’t defend genocide using well thought out reasoning…

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            As I have said many times – the only ‘genocide’ happening at the moment in this conflict is Hamas’s attempts to wipe out all Jews. Complicit therein are those who further their aims (also excusing their actions, etc). Ergo the the awaking of the world’s lightest sleeper and the rise of its oldest hatred.

      • robby 77 says:

        Well I think a Jewish person is more in a position to be objective about what he feels is discrimination/anti-semitism. It is not for you to decide for him and the fact that you might have a Jewish friend, also wouldn’t make you immune. As they say, anti-semitism is a light sleeper and boy has it woken up with you lot.

    • Graeme Bird says:

      It’s not only disingenuous to label anyone who criticises Israel of anti-semitism, it’s ironic too. Because the people most responsible for the current wave of anti-semitism are Netanyahu, his murderous government and their supporters.

    • Robert de Vos says:

      Touché! Hamas and Hezbollah are currently firing rockets, mortars and suicide drones into Israel from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

    • JP K says:

      It seems that you dispute the most basic and easily verifiable facts.

      You claim that no ethnic cleansing took place in Palestine. How? Relying on your own calculations. (fyi – there’s a wikipedia page on this)

      You claim “there’s no proof of genocide”. How? Who knows because, e.g., South Africa presented large amounts of evidence that genocide is underway. As have other scholars etc. No need to get bogged down here. Even if we can’t make a determination, there are reasonable grounds that genocide is taking place.

      How do you defend Israel’s crimes with mountains of evidence from different sources? Address each point using credible sources with well thought out arguments?

      Nah. It’s easy. Dodge, avoid. discredit:

      Critics are antisemitic/not credible
      Jewish scholars are “merely driving a bias-based agenda” (can’t call them antisemitic now can we?) and not credible
      Scholars are not credible (after all, 8 out of 15 participants at the Wannsee Conference for implementation of the final solution held doctorates – so therefore no scholars are credible. Obviously)
      UN is biased/antisemitic/not credible
      Students protesting globally are antisemitic
      Media is antisemitic/not credible
      Human rights bodies are antisemitic/not credible

      There’s an obvious pattern here…

      Here, prove me wrong: There is evidence that Israel is committing the war crime of starvation as a weapon of war. Israel is therefore guilty of a crime against humanity. Your rebuttal?

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        It is arrogant to presume to determine our terms of engagement.

        A pattern is a series of predictable sequence.

        Let me ask you this – what / who would you define as an antisemite, given current events? Try keeping your answer shorter than an essay, and leave out the condescending hyperbole.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    I’m wondering if it will make any difference on the ground. Arrest warrants have only been applied for. I wonder how long getting the warrants authorized will take and what process this will follow. I imagine it cant be a simple straight forward process. Regardless, I don’t see it making much difference. If Sinwaar where to visit South Africa after a warrant was issued, would our authorities here arrest him given that the ANC are on good terms with Hamas and our track record with these matters.

  • Warren Gwilt says:

    It is evident, based on the comments of this article, that many do not have “reading comprehension” as a skill in their arsenal.

    Both sides have committed atrocities and it is high time both are held to account.

    The false dichotomy of “us” and “them” is on full display here. There are no increments to wrong-doing, there is simply wrong-doing.

  • Craig King says:

    Unlike any other nation that is attacked Israel must turn the other cheek and take the blows without retaliation. This action by the unelected, unappointed, self selected moralists is just antisemitism and an affront to democracies everywhere.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      You forgot to mention that it is nuclear armed … and some in the ‘democratically’ elected knesset have openly like Putin, called for using it … on Palestinians ! The final solution ?

    • JP K says:

      Israel is not like any other nation that is attacked. It is an occupying power and there is certainly the legal argument that therefore it loses the right to defend itself from those it occupies.

      But for the most part, I’ve not seen that argument invoked.

      Even if Israel does have the right to defend itself from the people that it is occupying, it most certainly does not have the right to go on a vengeful, genocidal rampage as it is currently doing. While there is most certainly a moral argument to prevent such crimes (clearly not everyone agrees) there are also laws which govern warfare to prevent it. Hence the ICC seeking arrest orders and hence the genocide at the ICJ.

      But Israel wants to be special and above international law and not even have to deal with legitimate criticism.

      So let’s not get things back to front. Standing up for the adherence to laws and protecting human rights is not an affront to democracy but a championing of it. The affront is those who commit and condone the violations. In this case the violations are of the most serious kind: the crime of crimes and also, crimes against humanity.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        Disclaimer to those reading JP’s quasi-legal essays:

        The first line here is a classic antisemitic giveaway (“Israel is not like any other nation”).

        The antisemite finds it difficult publicly to justify his irrational hate. Throughout history, when people have sought to justify anti-Semitism, they have done so by recourse to the highest source of authority available within the culture. In the Middle Ages, it was religion. So we had religious anti-Judaism. In post Enlightenment Europe it was science. So we had the twin foundations of Nazi ideology, Social Darwinism and the so-called Scientific Study of Race. Today the highest source of authority worldwide is human rights. That is why Israel (the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East with an independent judiciary) is regularly accused of the five cardinal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. The new antisemitism has mutated so that any practitioner of it can deny that he or she is an antisemite.

        In the Middle Ages Jews were accused of poisoning wells, spreading the plague, and killing Christian children to use their blood. In Nazi Germany they were accused of controlling both capitalist America and communist Russia. Today they are accused of murdering innocent civilians en masse (“the crime of crimes”).

        The ultimate weapon of the new antisemitism is dazzling in its simplicity. It goes like thi: The Holocaust must never happen again. But Israelis are the new Nazis; the Palestinians are the new Jews; all Jews are Zionists. Therefore, the real antisemites of our time are none other than the Jews themselves.

        Beware of these pseudo-intellectual arguments. At their core is nothing more than a high-browed new antisemitism. And like all those who irrationally hated Jews before, they will end up on the trash heaps of history, together with those who have postulated and supported them, while the Jewish people will continue to survive (and thrive).

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        Credit to the late Lord Jonathan Sacks for some of the sources above (I forgot to mention, apologies). Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Professor at New York University, Professor at Yeshiva University, Professor of Law, Ethics, and the Bible at King’s College and also a Senior Fellow to the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights

  • Troy Marshall says:

    France and Belgium have come out supporting the ICC’s decision to charge Hamas and Israeli leaders for war crimes. I would imagine the Irish would be joining too.
    This is long, long, long overdue.
    Israeli apologists will cry anti-Semitism but for Israel sanctions are surely coming, same as what South Africa had when the National Party was running the show.

    • Rod H MacLeod says:

      And what is coming for Hamas, Troy? Enlighten us.

      • Troy Marshall says:

        Hmmm – the ICC has bought charges against the leadership of Hamas?

        Now the issue of Palestinian statehood will be front and centre
        for Israel : world opinion has turned; Israel has earned international condemnation and sanctions are surely in the mail

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      A pity it has taken another 30 years , after the second last apartheid state ended, much to the grief and disappointment of the US, its 51st state called Israel, and a few other colonialist enclaves .

  • Mr OK says:

    Interesting how SA lauds the work of the ICC but was recently prepared to withdraw its ICC membership so as to avoid arresting Putin if he entered SA.
    We know Al Basheer evaded arrest here in SA, I suspect that the only time SA would act on their obligation as an ICC member would be if Netanyahu(if an arrest warrant is issued) landed on our shores.
    I am pretty sure that Hamas leaders would be welcomed with open arms in SA and not arrested in the same scenario.
    South Africa’s foreign policy under the ANC
    is an outright mess and we have lost our moral compass in favour of pursuing geo-politcal interests that suit the ANC’s anti-west agenda.
    Gone are the days where the rainbow nation was a strong mediator in conflict resolution.

    • John P says:

      Whilst you are quite correct in your assessment of the ANC’s foreign policy it is the ICC and not SA or the ANC that have applied for the warrants of arrest.

      • Malcolm McManus says:

        No, but their one sided step to initially engage the ICJ was what has led to this. If it had come from a country that truly had the plight of the innocent civilians at hand, I would understand, but South African foreign policy is deeply flawed. This is not to say that other countries globally have flawed foreign policy, but South Africa always tries to take the moral high ground with their biased policy. The ANC, wanting to withdraw in one instance from the ICC when it suits them, then a year or two later embracing it for their own alleged financial gain when a different set of circumstances prevails, shows blatant hypocrisy. Thats the point. The ANC dragging South Africas name through the mud for hidden gains wth a one sided agenda. We may seem like global do good hero’s now, but later down the line the ANC will be exposed. We have recently hosted Hamas in South Africa. They are comrades of the ANC and the ANC don’t condemn their October 7th actions.

  • Mr OK says:

    Interesting how SA lauds the work of the ICC but was recently prepared to withdraw its ICC membership so as to avoid arresting Putin if he entered SA.
    We know Al Basheer evaded arrest here in SA, I suspect that the only time SA would act on their obligation as an ICC member would be if Netanyahu(if an arrest warrant is issued) landed on our shores.
    I am pretty sure that Hamas leaders would be welcomed with open arms in SA and not arrested in the same scenario.
    South African government under the ANC
    is an outright mess and we have lost our moral compass in favour of pursuing geo-politcal interests that suit the ANC’s anti-west agenda.
    Gone are the days where the rainbow nation was a strong mediator in conflict resolution.

  • Robert de Vos says:

    I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Ramaphosa and Pandor’s sanctimonious grandstanding is actually laughable, especially in the context of their close connection with the rapacious Putin and the dictator president for life Xi.

    Of course, we MUST remember that there is an election coming so anything that can be added to the campaign bandwagon, like NHI, will be.

  • JP K says:

    Agnès Callamard (Head of Amnesty) fears that the international order is under grave threat due to the impunity with which crimes are being committed for example by Russia and Israel.

    In a similar vein, the Israel case before the ICJ, as Ghrálaigh noted, will test the very credibility of the court.

    Somehow Western leaders have never been charged by the court. But even if they were, the US, for example has the Hague Invasion Act which allows it to, by “all means necessary and appropriate .. bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court”. Well. We know where they stand…

    So there’s no way Israel will abide by any ruling either by the ICJ or the ICC particularly given unwavering support of western allies amongst which the US is the most important. I mean, Israel shredded the UN charter. At the UN. It’s not like we should be surprised – they’re committing televised genocide after all.

    Those who blindly condemn South Africa, must not be aware that by ignoring violations, the whole system will be undermined.

    Those who support Israel as it commits a genocide and other war crimes must be quite certain that we will never require protection using those same laws. I mean this is Africa right? No risk of war crimes happening here

    If Israel is convicted (Israel will ignore) or if Israel isn’t convicted (it’s committing war crimes) it will make plain how broken the system is

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      I don’t object to any country with a genuine moral compass lodging a case at the ICJ. I do object to the ANC using South Africas name doing it, because they are doing it for nefarious reasons. Its blatantly obvious. They cant look after nor care about their own citizens. They are openly friendly with Hamas hosting them very recently at events. They have taken a side. Approaching the ICJ should be on the basis of doing good and achieving lasting peace for both sides. Not using the ICJ to be complicit in taking sides (which in this case has backfired for the ANC), particularly when Hamas has been tossing rockets into Israel for decades and will continue to do so. The ANC is blind to the atrocities of Hamas. I bet they are not happy about an arrest warrant being sought for the arrest of Sinwar.

  • District Six says:

    “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,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.
    Ergo, rather than join Russia’s navy in war-exercises, South Africa should maybe arrest Putrid and pack him off to The Hague. Maybe Mr FixIt can do something for a change and do the Putrid job on one of his Moscow jaunts.
    We waste so much potential in South Africa doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons.

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