South American leader asks ICC to issue Netanyahu arrest warrant

The International Criminal Court must act to stop the “genocide” of the Palestinian people, Colombian President Gustavo Petro has said Read Full Article at

South American leader asks ICC to issue Netanyahu arrest warrant

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has slammed the ongoing war in Gaza as a “genocide”

The International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council must act to prevent the “genocide” of the Palestinian people in the densely populated city of Rafah in southern Gaza, Colombian President Gustavo Petro claimed on Friday.

Israel’s war cabinet approved “measured expansion” of the ongoing military operation in Rafah on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising that West Jerusalem will continue its military campaign against Hamas militants and “will fight with our fingernails” if the US halts in the supply of weapons.

“Netanyahu will not stop the genocide,” Petro wrote on X (formerly Twitter), reacting to the Israeli leader’s declaration. “That implies an international arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.”

The Colombian leader went on to suggest that the UN Security Council must “consider the establishment of a peacekeeping force in the territory of Gaza.”

In a Labor Day speech in Bogota earlier this month, Petro vowed to cut diplomatic relations with Israel’s “genocidal” leadership, expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza whose “children have died, dismembered by bombs.”

The city of Rafah in southern Gaza is the last major population center still not under Israeli control. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Palestinians have taken shelter there in recent months. Earlier this week, Israel bombarded the city and sent troops and dozens of tanks into the eastern districts in what it described as a “limited” operation.

Several media outlets reported last month that the ICC could charge Netanyahu and several other top-ranking officials with war crimes over the ongoing war in Gaza. According to Axios, Netanyahu asked US President Joe Biden l to stop the ICC from pursuing him, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF chief of staff Herzi Halevi. Both Republican and Democrat US representatives warned the ICC of “consequences” in the event that it pursued Israeli officials. A group of Republican lawmakers are now reportedly devising sanctions against the court.

Israel launched a military operation against Hamas in Gaza following the militant group’s deadly October 7 incursion, which claimed over 1,200 lives, while hundreds of Israelis were taken hostage. According to the Hamas-controlled health authorities, the punitive operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has resulted in the deaths of 35,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians. 

In January, the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) said in a ruling that it was “plausible” that the Israeli military had committed genocide in the densely populated Palestinian enclave.