Colombian President Calls for ICC Arrest Warrant for Israeli PM Over Gaza 'Genocide'

Colombian President Gustavo Petro calls for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged genocide in Gaza. Netanyahu responds, labeling Petro an "anti-Semite" and a supporter of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Colombian President Calls for ICC Arrest Warrant for Israeli PM Over Gaza 'Genocide'

Colombian President Calls for ICC Arrest Warrant for Israeli PM Over Gaza 'Genocide'

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has sparked a heated exchange with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Netanyahu over alleged genocide in Gaza. Petro accused Netanyahu of committing "barbarism and genocide" against the people of Gaza, drawing parallels to atrocities committed against Jews in Nazi-era Europe.

Why this matters: The escalating conflict in Gaza has far-reaching implications for global politics and human rights, as it raises questions about the accountability of national leaders for alleged war crimes. The ICC's potential involvement could set a precedent for holding leaders accountable for such actions, potentially influencing international relations and conflict resolution strategies.

In a series of statements on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Petro directly addressed Netanyahu, stating: "Dropping bombs on thousands of innocent children, women and elderly people does not make you a hero. You remain alongside those who killed millions of Jews in Europe." He emphasized that "a genocide is a genocide no matter regardless of religion" and urged Netanyahu to "try to at least stop the massacre."

Netanyahu swiftly responded, labeling Petro an "anti-Semite" and a pm of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization." The Israeli leader stated: "Israel will not be lectured by an anti-Semitic supporter of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization that massacred, raped, mutilated and burned alive 1,200 innocent people on October 7. Shame on you President Petro!"

The exchange comes amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has resulted in devastating consequences. According to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory, Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,943 people, mostly women and children, since early October. The war broke out on October 7, 2023, with Hamas attacks on southern Israel that killed over 1,170 people, mostly civilians.

In January, the International Court of Justice accused Israel of genocide in an interim ruling, stating that it is "plausible" that Israel is committing such acts in Gaza. The court ordered Tel Aviv to stop these acts and take measures to guarantee humanitarian assistance to civilians in the territory. The conflict has also led to the displacement of two million people and extensive destruction of homes and infrastructure, affecting over 70% of buildings in Gaza.

Colombia has joined Bolivia, Belize, and South Africa in severing or suspending diplomatic ties with Israel over the Gaza offensive. Petro's call for an ICC arrest warrant for Netanyahu marks a significant escalation in international condemnation of Israel's actions. The ICC, as the world's only independent court set up to probe the gravest offenses by individual suspects, has previously issued warrants for national leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.

Key Takeaways

  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro calls for ICC arrest warrant for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged genocide in Gaza.
  • Petro accuses Netanyahu of "barbarism and genocide" against Gazans, drawing parallels to Nazi-era Europe.
  • Netanyahu responds, labeling Petro an "anti-Semite" and a supporter of Hamas.
  • The conflict in Gaza has killed over 34,943 people, mostly women and children, since early October.
  • Colombia joins other countries in severing diplomatic ties with Israel over the Gaza offensive.