War in the Middle East: USA defends Israel against allegations

War in the Middle East: USA defends Israel against allegations

The USA has recently repeatedly criticized Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip. However, they reject the latest allegations against the ally. The news at a glance.

The USA has demonstratively defended its ally Israel after applying for arrest warrants against the head of government and defense minister because of serious allegations in the Gaza war. “Contrary to the International Court of Justice’s allegations against Israel, this is not genocide,” said US President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House at a celebration of the achievements of American Jews in the US. “We reject this. We stand with Israel.”

Israel’s most important ally had previously heavily criticized the fact that the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court had requested an arrest warrant for alleged crimes against humanity against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Joav Galant. Arrest warrants were also requested against Hamas leader in Gaza, Jihia al-Sinwar, and other Hamas officials. But there is no equivalence between Israel and the Islamist Hamas – which the USA classifies as a terrorist organization – emphasized Biden.

Neither the USA nor Israel recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Palestinian territories are a contracting state. Therefore, chief prosecutor Karim Khan is also allowed to investigate. However, according to the Foreign Office, his simultaneous actions against Hamas and Israel created a false image. “The simultaneous application for arrest warrants against the Hamas leaders on the one hand and the two Israeli officials on the other gave the false impression of an equation,” said a Foreign Office spokesman in Berlin.

Israel sharply criticizes chief prosecutor

Israel’s government sharply criticized the motions against Netanyahu and Galant. “While the murderers and rapists of Hamas commit crimes against humanity against our brothers and sisters, the chief prosecutor in the same breath mentions our prime minister and defense minister, alongside the despicable Nazi monsters of Hamas – a historic disgrace that will be remembered forever “, said Foreign Minister Israel Katz and spoke of a “scandalous decision”.

The judges must now decide whether the arrest warrants will actually be issued. If they consider the allegations to be confirmed, the main proceedings can be initiated against the accused.

South Africa’s government welcomed the actions of the ICC’s chief prosecutor. The country had repeatedly called on the International Court of Justice to take action against Israel and accused Netanyahu’s government of genocide. The UN judges have made urgent decisions requiring Israel to do everything possible to prevent genocide in Gaza and to allow humanitarian aid.

Blinken: Arrest warrant applications could jeopardize hostage agreement

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the chief prosecutor’s actions could jeopardize ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement in Gaza. Hamas is being encouraged and that is the main obstacle to an agreement, said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. Efforts to release the hostages and reach a ceasefire made no progress last week, US National Security Council communications director John Kirby said. Since Israel and Hamas do not negotiate directly with each other, Egypt, Qatar and the USA act as mediators in the negotiations.

USA insists on help for Gaza population

While US President Biden reiterated his “unwavering commitment” to Israel’s security, his security advisor Jake Sullivan also insisted in talks with the Israeli leadership on access to humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip. It is important that Israel and Egypt complete their discussions about the early reopening of the Rafah border crossing in the south of the sealed-off coastal area, Sullivan emphasized in discussions with Israel’s Defense Minister Galant and Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi, the White House said. Humanitarian aid workers must be able to safely provide aid to those in need throughout the Gaza Strip and use all available border crossings to do so.

Report: Gaza aid convoy looted at new pier

At the end of last week, trucks carrying relief supplies drove into the embattled Gaza Strip for the first time via a makeshift US military pier. One of the first aid deliveries was looted on Saturday, the New York Times reported, citing a spokeswoman for the World Food Program. Palestinians intercepted a convoy of trucks carrying relief supplies from the pier, looted them and then ran away. The incident highlights how difficult it is to bring humanitarian aid safely to the embattled coastal area.

Meanwhile, according to UN estimates, around 800,000 internally displaced people have left the city of Rafah since the Israeli military operation began there around two weeks ago. They are now further north, including on a stretch of beach where there is hardly any humanitarian aid, the Wall Street Journal reported. Families cooked over open fires, for which they would have to burn garbage due to a lack of fuel. Waste was piling up everywhere and sewage was flowing into the sea.

In Rafah on the border with Egypt, Israel’s leadership wants to destroy the last Hamas battalions believed to be there. Rafah is the last town in Gaza that is still relatively intact. The US rejects a major Israeli ground offensive there. Israeli Defense Minister Galant and his Chief of Staff Halevi briefed Sullivan on “new alternative approaches to combating Hamas in Rafah,” the White House said. “Both sides agreed to continue discussions.”

Iran’s army chief orders investigation into cause of crash

Meanwhile, the army chief of Israel’s arch-enemy Iran has called for a thorough investigation into the fatal crash of the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian. According to a report by the Isna news agency, General Mohammed Bagheri set up a team in the Ministry of Defense for this purpose.

In addition to the two statesmen, all seven other occupants of the helicopter were killed in the crash on Sunday in the northeast of the country. Since then, there has been speculation in Iran as to whether bad weather, a technical defect or an Israeli act of sabotage could have been responsible for the incident.

Source: Stern

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