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Forums - Politics Discussion - Israel-Hamas war, Gaza genocide

Germany says it respects ICC but Israel has ‘right to defend itself’

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office says Berlin respects the ICC’s independence and procedures like all other international courts.

But, it said, the simultaneous application for arrest warrants against Hamas leaders and Israeli officials has created a false impression of an equivalency.

It added that Israel has a right to defend itself so long as international humanitarian law and its obligations apply.

Italy latest western country to condemn ICC prosecutor

Speaking during a TV interview, Antonio Tajani condemned ICC prosecutor Khan for seeking arrest warrants for both Israeli leaders and leaders of Hamas.

“It seems to me truly singular, I would say unacceptable, to equate a government legitimately elected by the people in a democracy with a terrorist organisation that is the cause of everything that is happening in the Middle East,” Tajani said.

The statement echoes similar condemnations made by the US, UK and Germany earlier today.

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Most envoys to UN tight-lipped about ICC prosecutor’s decision

Here at the United Nations headquarters, most ambassadors did not want to comment about the ICC chief prosecutor’s decision to submit an application for arrest warrants.

As one said, it’s like a hot potato that nobody wants to touch right now. We spent all day, trying to talk to ambassadors, asking them questions as they went in and out of Security Council meetings, but in almost all instances, our questions were ignored.

Most countries clearly want to let the judicial process play out before commenting. And that was the sentiment articulated by Malta’s ambassador to the UN, a security council member.

There is a sense here of US double standards, and people point to March of last year, when the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

At the time, the US and other Western countries mostly applauded that decision by the ICC. But now, when the ICC closes in on a possible arrest warrant for Israeli officials, the US calls it outrageous.

US president ‘moving closer to Israel’ after ICC seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant

Joe Biden actually just spoke about this from the White House and it comes at a time when tension between the US and Israel has really been growing over the US’s ignored warning for Israel not to invade Rafah.

But now, with this International Criminal Court move to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu, it seems that Biden is moving closer to Israel.

As far as what can the US do about this effort to seek an ICC arrest warrant, well, it can make strong statements in support of Israel. There are also the Republican senators who issued a letter warning that they could try to seek sanctions against ICC staff members.

The biggest leverage the US may have, given that it is not a member of the ICC itself, is that it could pressure its allies – most European nations that are signatories [to the ICC] – to not take action to arrest these people if the arrest warrants were to be granted.

There certainly would be a lot of pressure and a lot of tension that those European allies of the US would be under in trying to navigate that potential conflict of interest.

UN expert on Palestine says ICC prosecutor’s decision is historic

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, says she understands that for the people of war-torn Gaza, the ICC prosecutor’s move to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant may appear too little too late.

But “for me, it’s a historical, historical day,” Albanese told Al Jazeera.

“It’s not a small thing that the ICC prosecutor [is seeking] arrest warrants for two Israeli leaders and it’s not just for war crimes… it’s for crimes that have been committed intentionally and wilfully – the all-state policy that has animated this campaign against the population in Gaza is put into question,” she said.

“Without condoning or justifying the crimes that have been committed by Hamas, these crimes should have been investigated, and prosecuted. It shouldn’t have given leeway to Israel to start a war which has turned into a genocidal war against the entire Palestinian population.”

“Palestine was a litmus test for the credibility of the court and this prosecutor in particular. And after October 7, after October 8, he was compelled to act,” she added.

Ofcourse western allies have no choice but side with the US and israel. And they've already started labelling anyone who sides with icc as antiSemitic lol. But the scary thing is the threats the icc is getting.

"Both sides" is used like a swear term, but arrest warrants for both sides being pursued here doesn't mean that there's an attempt to create an equivalence. It comes down to two simple questions:

1. Does Hamas' act of terrorism on October 7th justify arrest warrants for Hamas' leaders?
2. Do Israel's actions in Gaza after October 7th justify arrest warrants for Israel's leaders?

For any human being with even only the most basic moral standards, the answer to both questions is a resounding "yes." You don't get to kill civilians and take hostages at will under the pretense of "resistance against occupation" and you don't get to kill and starve civilians at will under the pretense of "self-defense."

This is a war between two factions that are led by religious nutjobs, and as history has taught us time and time again, power must be removed from religion in order for people to live free and in peace. While these arrest warrants won't solve this major problem (regardless of the arrest warrants being confirmed or not), at least the message is out there that what's happening is sick and wrong and that both sides have been contributing tremendously to it, not just for months, but for decades. The war in Gaza is nowhere near as clear cut as the war in Ukraine where Russia is the aggressor who invaded unprovoked, so I hope that nobody will try to draw parallels between what's happening in Israel and Ukraine.

The parallel that does exist, however, is that the West is weak. Be it the USA, Canada or the EU and most of its member states. The name of their game is escalation management and in both cases it only ever fed escalation. Politicians who pursue the ill-advised strategy of escalation management should be removed from making decisions.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.

It was pretty clear cut in the 1930's when religious Zionists backed by the UK started attacking Palestinians to drive them off their land.
Was very clear cut in 1930's that Jews were not safe in Europe and needed a safe place to call home.
It was pretty clear cut in 1947 that the newly formed UN didn't consider the Palestinians when giving away 52% of their land.
Was very clear cut in 1948 when the UK with drew and newly formed Israel took over 70% of the land during the Nakba.

Then follows the incompetence of the West to create a solution acceptable to both sides for the next 76 years.

So yeah, I can sympathize with Palestinians when they feel equated with the oppressor. In that sense it is similar to the Ukraine where Russia denies the Ukrainian identity

"In the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917, most of the Ukrainian region became a republic of the Soviet Union, though parts of western Ukraine were divided between Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. Ukraine suffered a severe famine, called the Holodomor, in 1932–33 under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Overrun by Axis armies in 1941 during World War II, Ukraine was further devastated before being retaken by the Soviets in 1944."

Ukraine however declared independence in 1991, have their own state already, which got invaded in 2014 in the Crimean crisis. Palestinians never got that chance, blocked by the US' veto at every twist and turn.

That still doesn't excuse the barbaric terrorist attacks. It doesn't excuse the West either for largely ignoring what has been going on while always painting the Palestinians as the trouble makers while more and more of their land got stolen.

In that sense it's a very different conflict and more similar to what happened in South Africa with colonization and apartheid.

The solution in Ukraine is a lot easier, Russia needs to F off and leave Ukraine alone.

The situation in 'Greater Israel' is terribly complex. Abolish apartheid, make it one state, the Jews will be in the minority. Not acceptable to Israel nor the USA. Make it 2 states, how are you going to deal with the mess in the West Bank, by now well established settlements making freedom of movement nearly impossible, nvm Gaza and the West Bank don't connect.

Plus both sides have dehumanized each other for so long, it will take generations of healing.

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‘We are the victims’: Palestinians in Gaza react to ICC prosecutor’s decision

Even as the ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, Palestinians in the war-battered coastal enclave are facing daily death and displacement, and the announcement brings little comfort.

Local man Sami Abu Zeid emphasised that civilians were continuing to suffer. “We’re the victims, although we have nothing to do with Israel or Hamas. We are not Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” he told Al Jazeera from Deir el-Balah.

“We’re civilians … What is my guilt or my children’s guilt? What’s my guilt or my siblings’ guilt? What is my guilt or my neighbour’s guilt? Why was I displaced and why do I have to suffer every day?”

Another Gaza resident, Majdi Sleim, criticised the ICC prosecutor’s decision to seek warrants for the leaders of Hamas alongside Netanyahu and Gallant. “We tell the prosecutor that the cards are being shuffled because there’s equivalence between the victims and the oppressed,” Sleim said.

“How is it possible to equalise between those who defend their country and freedom – and the ICC say they value everything in accordance with humanitarian standards – and between those who target children, women and elderly people? Those who destroy homes and infrastructure and humanitarian sectors in the Gaza Strip?”

There is no equivalence between oppressor and oppressed, yet killing civilians and taking hostages are war crimes on both sides. That is the equivalence. However the industrial scale Israel employs in killing civilians including starvation and total devastation of Gaza, there is no equivalence there to the horrific Oct 7 attack. Then there are the terrorist attacks by Settlers, backed by Israel and the IDF, the continuous raids, harassment and destruction of the West Bank which have been happening for many decades, the blockade and walling in of. If it weren't for all that Hamas wouldn't exist. Netanyahu even supported Hamas to drive a wedge between Fatah 'controlling' the West Bank and Gaza.

The legitimate resistance has used horrible tactics, yet any peaceful protests like the March of return have only been met by violence and more vetos by the US. Oct 7 blame lies not only on Hamas, it also lies on Netanyahu, the UN and the West in general. It took 75 years of resistance and the near total destruction of Gaza for the west to finally recognize, we have a real problem. It took social media to break through the narrative that western main stream media has been holding onto since 1948, to break through Aipac and for people to realize what has really been going on there for over 75 years.

Back to the daily war crimes

‘Pieces of flesh strewn all over the walls’: Witnesses recount Israeli attack on Beit Lahiya

An Israeli attack on a residential square in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza crumbled several buildings and scattered body parts of victims all over the area, according to witnesses.

The attack on the Mashrou neighbourhood on Monday morning killed and wounded dozens, many of them children and the elderly. “I was passing through this road and all of a sudden, the earth was shaking, as if an earthquake,” one man recounted to Al Jazeera. “Pieces of flesh are strewn all over the walls. Look for yourself. I am collecting pieces of flesh,” he said holding up a plastic bag with human remains. “These belong to young children, women and babies,” he said.

A little girl, distraught with grief, said all of her siblings were killed in the attack. “I was in the market. I came home to find all my brothers and sisters gone,” she said. “All of them were killed, ripped to pieces, their flesh scattered all over the place.”

‘Dismembered heads on streets’ after Israel bombs Jabalia

As Israeli forces step up their air and ground assault on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, one attack ripped victims to pieces and sent rescue workers scrambling to reach survivors trapped under the rubble using basic tools, according to witnesses and emergency crews.

“We came out running and found dismembered heads on the streets,” said a resident of the area in a video testimony. “I found a small child who was injured and I ran with him to Kamal Adwan Hospital. I didn’t wait for the ambulances on the way.”

Emergency workers who rushed in to save people from a building where the roof had collapsed used shovels to rescue trapped people and ropes to remove the bodies of victims from the higher floors of damaged structures.

“The house was destroyed on top of the heads of people living there. Our team is trying to recover the bodies with tools, simple tools which are the only ones they have, to try and get them out from under the rubble of the house,” said Ahmed Al-Kahlout, a member of Gaza’s Civil Defence team.

Palestinians carry the body of a person killed in an Israeli strike on a house in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, on May 18

‘Large number’ of injured after attack on Khan Younis house

Our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic are reporting that a large number of injured people have arrived at Gaza’s European Hospital following an overnight Israeli attack on a house east of Khan Younis.

Israeli aircraft also launched strikes on sites north of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza as well as targets east of Rafah. Casualties from those attacks are not yet known.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that 259 Palestinians were killed and 391 injured between Friday and Monday in Gaza, according to Ministry of Health data, with 106 people in that total killed in just the past 24 hours.

Intensified Israeli strikes continue across Gaza

There is no end to the bloodshed in Gaza as dozens of people have been killed by Israeli air attacks in Jabalia in the north, as well as in Rafah in the south.

In one incident, an Israeli attack on the Jabalia refugee camp ripped victims to pieces, leaving “dismembered heads on the streets”, witnesses and emergency crews have recounted.

Israel ramps up attacks as families hit without warning

Since midnight, at least eight Palestinians have been killed in Rafah after a residential building was destroyed. Three others were killed in Beit Hannon, northern Gaza, where Palestinians were trapped during the expansion of the fighting to the Jabalia refugee camp.

The camp is isolated in that corner of the city without any water and food supplies. And now the people trapped there are being killed by Israeli fire.

A couple of minutes ago, three injured people, including children, arrived at Al-Aqsa Hospital, where we are right now. They were wounded after a group of Palestinians were targeted by Israeli fighter jets.

In the last 24 hours, at least 106 Palestinians have been killed.

There is a great sense and deal of sadness and frustration among Palestinian families who are being attacked without any prior warning.

Jabalia camp targeted by Israeli forces again

Our colleagues on the ground in Gaza are reporting that Israeli forces have targeted Jabalia refugee camp again.

We are getting reports that the army was firing directly at the northern gate of Kamal Adwan Hospital in the camp.

Israeli attacks on northern Gaza continue

The Israeli army’s operation in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza is ongoing. Witnesses told Al Jazeera that Israeli army vehicles this morning fired at the gate of Kamal Adwan Hospital.

Separately, video footage confirmed by Al Jazeera showed gunfire from Israeli army vehicles along the road in the direction of the Jabalia refugee camp, also in Gaza’s north.

Local sources confirmed that Israeli vehicles penetrated the north of the camp and surrounded al-Awda Hospital in the Tall az-Zaatar area, about 500 metres (547 yards) away from the Kamal Adwan Hospital.

Five killed in Israeli attack on Rafah’s Yabna camp

An Israeli strike has hit a group of people in the Yabna refugee camp in central Rafah, killing at least five civilians and wounding others, according to a report by the Wafa news agency.

There are also reports that at least three of the people killed were children.

Drone attack kills three children in central Gaza: Sources

Medical sources have told Al Jazeera that a drone attack has targeted a group of people in the Yibna refugee camp in Rafah in southern Gaza, killing at least three children. Footage obtained by Al Jazeera showed the first moments after the strike with the bodies of children lying on the ground.

The children were transferred by medical staff to the Kuwaiti Specialty Hospital in Rafah, sources say.

Gaza’s death toll rises

At least 35,647 Palestinians have been killed and 79,852 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, its Health Ministry says. The ministry added that 85 people were killed and 200 injured in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

Israeli forces carry out arrests across occupied West Bank

Israeli forces have arrested three Palestinians from the village of Rujeib, east of Nablus, and seized two vehicles, the Wafa news agency reports.

A freed Palestinian prisoner has also been arrested in the village of al-Jalama, north of Jenin, while a “number” of Palestinians have been arrested from the town of Sinjil, north of Ramallah, according to Wafa.

Confrontations between Palestinian resistance groups and Israeli forces have also been reported in the city of Tubas, where an Israeli bulldozer has been targeted with an explosive device, and in the town of Tarqumiyah, west of Hebron.

Israeli forces kill three, 8 wounded in occupied West Bank’s Jenin

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that three Palestinians have been killed and eight injured by Israeli soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp.

The Israeli military said earlier it had started an operation in Jenin. A brief statement on X said the “counterterrorism” operation started after fighters were detected in the area.

Death toll in Jenin raid rises to five

Israeli forces have now shot dead five people during their Jenin camp raid, reports the Wafa news agency citing the Health Ministry.

The victims included a doctor, a teacher and a student.

Local media published a photo of what it said was the killed student:

Seven people now confirmed killed in Israeli raid on Jenin

The death toll from Israel’s military raid on Jenin refugee camp has risen again, with seven people now confirmed killed, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Nine people were also injured in the raid, including two who are in critical condition, according to the ministry.

Israel’s army is blocking rescue teams from reaching the injured, who include several students, reports the Wafa news agency, citing the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

The raid, one of the deadliest in Jenin in months, adds to the more than 500 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7.

Al-Quds Brigades say fighting is continuing against Israeli troops in Jenin

The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, has said its fighters are engaged with Israeli troops in the city. A statement made on Telegram by the Jenin Battalion of the group said “violent clashes” started after “an infiltration of the special forces” into the Jenin refugee camp.

The Israeli army announced it began the operation earlier in the morning. At least seven Palestinians have been killed and many wounded in the raid.

Palestinian Health Ministry condemns killing of doctor in Jenin raid

Usaid Kamal Jabarin, a 50-year-old general surgeon, is one of the seven people killed by Israeli forces during their raid on Jenin. Jabarin was shot dead on his way to Jenin Government Hospital, where he worked as a specialist.

In a statement, the ministry condemned what it called Jabarin’s “deliberate murder” and appealed to the international community for the protection of medical staff and hospitals.

Deadly Jenin raid expected to continue for a while

Confrontations are still continuing. According to information from medical sources, two of the seven people killed so far are minors. Their wounds were to the chest and the head, so we’re talking about an intention to kill.

An Israeli army statement said they’re operating against a group of what they call “terrorists”. But according to Palestinians, all who have been killed are civilians. Some victims were even over the age of 55, so we’re not talking about fighters at the moment, although we are seeing confrontations going on.

Locals say a bulldozer has made its way inside the refugee camp. They believe it is there to demolish the home of a Palestinian who was killed earlier. We are anticipating this to continue for a while and the situation is very tense at the moment.

Recurring raids in Jenin pushing more youth towards armed resistance

Jenin and Tulkarem have been the centre of Israeli raids that sometimes go on for days. We’ve covered tens of these long raids by Israeli forces since the start of the war. Israeli forces say they are operating against Palestinian terrorists during the raids. This is the Israeli terminology.

But Palestinians say the raids often turn deadly even if Palestinians offer no resistance at all. That’s why there has been pockets of young Palestinian men who have decided to take up arms and defy and confront the Israeli forces, specifically when they raid Palestinian areas.

Palestinians say the forces require them to show force, to show strength. Even if that leads to deadly results, Palestinians would say they are getting killed anyway under decades-long Israeli military occupation.

Israeli bulldozers ‘wreaking havoc’ in Jenin

UN official says no aid delivered from US-built pier for two days: Report

A UN warehouse in Gaza has not received food aid from the newly-opened US-built pier for two days, an unnamed UN official has told the Reuters news agency.

Ten truckloads of food were transported on Friday from the pier to a World Food Programme warehouse in Deir el-Balah in central Gaza. But only five made it to the warehouse on Saturday, after 11 others were emptied by people as the trucks passed through an area that has been hard to access with aid, the official told Reuters.

The UN did not receive any aid from the pier on Sunday or Monday, with the official saying, “they’ve not seen trucks for a while”.

“We need to make sure that the necessary security and logistical arrangements are in place before we proceed,” the official said.

The US has said that the pier, which is estimated to have cost $320m to construct, will initially handle 90 trucks a day, but that number could rise to 150.

More than 569 tonnes of aid already delivered to Gaza from pier, US says

The US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) has said that more than 569 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid has been delivered via a US-built temporary pier on the Gaza coastline since it opened on Friday.

“The United States, United Kingdom, UAE, European Union, and many other partners have donated this humanitarian assistance,” CENTCOM said.

Earlier, we reported that an unnamed UN official told the Reuters news agency that they have not received aid from the pier for two days, with the last delivery to a World Food Programme warehouse in central Gaza coming on Saturday.

569 tons is 29 to 38 trucks... Not much to boast about compared to the avg 190 trucks a day before the closure of Rafah and Kerem Shalom, which was still far short of the 500 to 800 needed daily.

‘Hell on earth’ in Gaza, as border crossing closures cause aid to dry up: UN

The closure of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt has stopped the delivery of at least 82,000 metric tonnes of aid and supplies, a senior UN aid official has said.

Speaking at the UN Security Council, Edem Wosornu also said that access to the Karem Abu Salem crossing (known as Kerem Shalom in Israel) was limited due to “hostilities, challenging logistical conditions, and complex coordination procedures”. Wosornu said that these border closures mean that there are now insufficient supplies and fuel for the UN to provide meaningful support to the people of Gaza.

“We are running out of words to describe what is happening in Gaza. We have described it as a catastrophe, a nightmare, as hell on earth. It is all of these, and worse,” she said.

Egypt has said that the Rafah crossing is closed due to the threat posed by Israel’s military operation. Israel has taken over the Palestinian side of the border as part of an ongoing assault on the city in southern Gaza.

A food truck sits abandoned near the entrance to the Kerem Shalom border crossing on May 17