The head of European diplomacy asks Israel not to “intimidate” or “threaten” the ICC

In an interview on Spanish television, Josep Borrell referred to the Israeli prime minister and his defense minister, who strongly condemned the ICC prosecutor’s decision to request arrest warrants against them.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, called on Israel on Friday not to “intimidate” or “threaten” the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose attorney general requested arrest warrants against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Minister of Defense. “I ask everyone, starting with the government of Israel, but also some European governments, not to intimidate the judges, not to threaten them, not to try to influence their decision,” he said. Borrell in an interview with Spanish public television TVE, calling for “respect for the International Criminal Court.”

The Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, announced on Monday that he had requested from the Court arrest warrants against Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as against three leaders of the Palestinian movement Hamas, for alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

His decision provoked vehement reactions from those concerned, with Netanyahu saying he “rejected it with disgust” and speaking of a “new anti-Semitism”, while Gallant described it as “despicable and despicable”. Borrell forcefully defended the work of the ICC, but above all castigated the attitude of the Israeli government, accusing it of seeing any criticism of its action as a form of anti-Semitism.

“I reject and condemn the threats”

“One thing is to criticize Netanyahu’s government (…) and another is to adopt anti-Semitic positions,” said Borrell, whose relations with the Israeli government are notoriously tense. “This is an appeal that I make to all those who spoke out on the prosecutor’s decision,” he continued. The request to issue arrest warrants is “a decision of the prosecutor, it is not a decision of the Court”, recalled the High Representative of the EU for foreign policy.

“Wait for the judges to make their decision, and in the meantime, I disapprove, I reject and I condemn the threats… that have been made against the judges of the ICC, who have not yet said anything, or against the prosecutor, who is doing his job,” he continued.

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