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War in the Middle East: Habeck accuses Israel of acting in violation of international law

War in the Middle East: Habeck accuses Israel of acting in violation of international law

The International Court of Justice has put pressure on Israel in the Gaza war with a decision. Vice Chancellor Habeck is now criticising Israel in unusually clear terms. The overview.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has criticized Israel’s actions in the Gaza war as being contrary to international law. “Of course Israel must abide by international law. And the famine, the suffering of the Palestinian population, the attacks in the Gaza Strip are – as we are now seeing in court – incompatible with international law,” said Habeck in a public discussion at the Democracy Festival on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Basic Law in Berlin.

“That means that Israel has indeed crossed its borders there, and it must not do that.” At the same time, the Green politician pointed out that Hamas could end the war in the Gaza Strip immediately if it laid down its weapons.

On Monday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, requested arrest warrants for alleged crimes against humanity against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Joav Galant, but the court has yet to rule on these. Yesterday, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to immediately end the military operation in Rafah. With this decision, the highest court of the United Nations in The Hague complied with several demands that South Africa had made in an urgent application.

Scholz: International law must be observed

Habeck and Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated the German government’s warnings against a large-scale military offensive in the city of Rafah in southern Israel. “Our statement is that warfare must always be conducted in such a way that it respects the rules of international law,” said Scholz at a public meeting in his Potsdam constituency. “That is why we have always been very clear in saying: We cannot imagine an offensive in Rafah without terrible, unacceptable human losses.”

Habeck pointed out that the German government had always said “that Israel must not carry out this attack, at least not in the way it did before in the Gaza Strip: bombing refugee camps and so on.”

Israel continued its military operation in Rafah despite the International Court of Justice’s decision. Israeli soldiers killed several Palestinian gunmen who had previously fired at the Israelis, the army said. In addition, further weapons caches and tunnel shafts were found in Rafah. A civilian was killed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported, citing hospital staff. All of the information could not be independently verified at this time.

Israel rejects allegations

The statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the National Security Bureau further said that Israel had not carried out military operations in Rafah that created living conditions “that could lead to the total or partial annihilation of the Palestinian civilian population.” Israel would continue its efforts to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and act in accordance with the law to minimize harm to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. The statement did not elaborate on the ICJ’s orders.

USA: “We have made our position on Rafah clear and unambiguous”

The US State Department responded to the ICJ decision with just one sentence: “We have clearly and unambiguously explained our position on Rafah,” said a ministry spokesman when asked by the German Press Agency. The USA, as Israel’s most important ally, recently stated that the operations in Rafah had not yet reached the extent that the US government had warned about.

The US opposes a major Israeli ground offensive in Rafah. Previous Israeli operations “have been more targeted and limited and have not included major military operations in the center of densely populated urban areas,” said US President Joe Biden’s security adviser Jake Sullivan.

The war was triggered by an unprecedented massacre by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7 last year in the Israeli border region. More than 1,200 people were killed in the terrorist attack and more than 250 were taken hostage to the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 35,800 people have been killed so far in the course of Israel’s subsequent military offensive in Gaza.

Indirect Gaza negotiations could continue

Israel, Qatar and the United States have agreed to continue stalled indirect negotiations on a hostage release and ceasefire in the Gaza Strip next week, the result of talks held in Paris by CIA Director William Burns, Mossad chief David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, according to well-connected Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, citing an Israeli government official on X.

The indirect negotiations, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the USA, reached a dead end in April. The main issue is that the radical Islamic Hamas should release the Israeli hostages it has taken to the Gaza Strip. In return, Israel should release a large number of Palestinian prisoners from its prisons. The Jewish state should also end its military operations in the Gaza Strip – whether this is temporary or permanent is one of the points of contention in the difficult negotiations.

Last Thursday, the Israeli War Cabinet expanded the scope of the Israeli negotiating team. This apparently made it possible for the indirect talks between Israel and Hamas to continue.

Gaza aid landing stage damaged

High waves and stormy seas have damaged the temporary pier for humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip, which was completed just over a week ago. Due to the sea conditions, four US military ships participating in the mission became detached from their moorings, said the US regional command responsible for the Middle East (Centcom). Two of the ships are now anchored on the beach near the temporary pier in front of the Gaza Strip. The other two are stranded off the Israeli coast near Ashkelon. The city is around 15 kilometers from Gaza.

The Israeli military is helping to salvage all four ships, the statement said. US soldiers will not enter the Gaza Strip. There are no injuries and the pier is still operational. Centcom announced that it will continue to provide information on the process.

Eyewitnesses had previously reported that the temporary port for aid transport was currently not in operation. Workers were busy repairing the damage. The website of the Israeli television station N12 had reported that parts of the pier had been swept to the coast near Ashdod by the strong current. The Israeli city is a good 30 kilometers from Gaza.

The temporary facility was completed just over a week ago. Freighters initially bring aid supplies from Cyprus to a floating platform a few kilometers off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Source: Stern

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