‘Appalling’ – European leaders blast ICC’s ‘unacceptable’ comparison of Israel and Hamas

European leaders condemn ICC prosecutor’s decision to issue arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister and defense minister alongside warrants for senior Hamas members.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

European leaders criticized the International Criminal Court at The Hague and condemned the decision by its chief prosecutor Karim Khan to issue arrest warrants for two senior Israeli leaders over their handling of the war in Gaza.

On Monday, Khan revealed to CNN that his office had decided to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud), along with warrants for three top Hamas leaders.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne rejected the “equivalence” between Hamas and Israel implied by the decision.

“These simultaneous requests for arrest warrants should not create an equivalence between Hamas and Israel,” Sejourne told French parliamentarians Tuesday.

Israel, Sejourne emphasized, is “a democratic state that must respect international law in the conduct of a war that it did not itself start,” while Hamas is “a terrorist group that celebrated the October 7 attacks.”

A day earlier, Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, denounced Khan’s decision as “appalling and completely unacceptable.”

“We must not forget that it was Hamas that attacked Israel in October and killed, injured and kidnapped thousands of innocent people,” Fiala tweeted.

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“It was this completely unprovoked terrorist attack that led to the current war in Gaza and the suffering of civilians in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon.”

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk echoed Fiala’s comments, calling the ICC’s move “unacceptable.”

“An attempt to show that the prime minister of Israel and the leaders of a terrorist organization are the same, and the involvement of international institutions in this, is unacceptable,” Tusk told reporters.

Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, issued a statement Tuesday criticizing Khan, a British citizen, saying he was “wrong” to compare Israel and Hamas.

“There is no moral equivalence between a democratic state exercising its lawful right to self defense and the terrorist group Hamas. It is wrong to conflate and equivocate between those two different entities.”

“What I am very clear is that this will make absolutely no difference in getting a pause in the fighting, getting aid into the region, or indeed the hostages out.”