21 May 2024

Like the United States, we reject any notion of equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor’s proposal to issue an arrest warrant for the representatives of a democratically elected government right alongside the leaders of a terrorist organisation is appalling and completely unacceptable.

The ICC’s announcement, ahead of any outcome from Israel’s own processes, is premature. As the Biden Administration has said, it raises serious questions about the ICC process.

The ICC’s clear responsibility is to complement a nation’s own legal system, not to supplant it.

Israel is a democracy with its own robust legal system. The independence of its judiciary from the Israeli government has been demonstrated time and again. It has and is continuing to undertake investigations into its own operations in Gaza.

Hamas is a terrorist organisation which deliberately targeted innocent civilians in its murder of 1200 Jews on 7 October, which continues to hold around 130 hostages, and which hides behind Palestinian civilians as human shields.

It deliberately tortured, raped and murdered civilians to pursue its stated aim of “annihilating” the Jews. It has publicly vowed to repeat the October 7 attacks.

A ceasefire would be possible now if Hamas were to unconditionally release the hostages, and surrender its terrorist capabilities, infrastructure, and leadership.