Greece expresses reservations over ICC prosecutor's decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders

Greece
Fri, 24 May 2024 7:31 GMT
Government spokesman reiterates county’s support for immediate cease-fire, 2-state solution.
Greece expresses reservations over ICC prosecutor's decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders

Greece expressed reservations over a decision by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, local media reported Thursday.

“It troubles us and makes us wonder how such a decision could help normalize the situation in the Middle East,” said government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis, speaking at a weekly news conference, according to the Efsyn and Avgi dailies.

Asked about Greece’s position on the recognition of Palestine as a state in light of similar decisions by Norway, Ireland and Spain, he said “Greece remains committed to the implementation of the (UN) Security Council resolution for a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as its capital and the pre-1967 borders. Our country voted in favor of the resolutions concerning Palestine at the UN General Assembly.”

“What matters today is the immediate cessation of hostilities, the release of hostages, and the unhindered channeling of humanitarian aid. The recognition of a Palestinian state is part of the ongoing peace process in the framework of the comprehensive political solution for the Middle East,” Marinakis added.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan applied for arrest warrants on Monday for Netanyahu, Gallant and three leaders of the Palestinian group Hamas for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed in Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued a brutal offensive on Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 35,700 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 80,000 others injured since last October following an attack by Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Norway, Ireland and Spain announced Wednesday that they would recognize Palestine as a state as of May 28.

Palestine is already recognized by eight European countries: Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden and the Greek Cypriot administration.

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